Repentance with godly grief
Scripture reading for August 31st: 2nd Corinthians 7, Psalm 24, Proverbs 19
2nd Corinthians 7: 8-11 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a little while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”
Paul had urged them earlier in his letter to forgive the brother who had been in gross immorality. (2nd Corinthians 2:1-9) He explained to them the working of ‘godly grief’ that leads to true repentance and a change of direction. Some people only experience ‘worldly grief’, which is being sorry that your wrong choice of action was found out. This kind of grief produces death, whereas, godly grief produces repentance and true salvation. Its fruit is eagerness to do what is right, willingness to discipline those who are in sin, and upholding the integrity of God’s Word. Since we are all sinners, we all need godly sorrow to produce the necessary repentance. God will give the repentant clean hands and a pure heart. A man of understanding will gain knowledge through reproof.
Psalm 24:3-5 “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending those who will reprove me in love when I have done wrong. Thank You for giving me ‘godly sorrow’ over my sins, bringing true repentance and life. As an elder in Your Church, help me to correct others with grace and tears, following the example of Jesus Christ and His apostles. Give our nation’s people this gift of godly sorrow over sins and true repentance leading to life.
Psalm 19:25 “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge. ”