2 Corinthians 6:14-7:16; 2 Kings 19; Nahum 1
Do parents say this more or do teachers: “Are you sorry for what you did or are you sorry that you got caught?” There is, of course, a reason for this question. Children need to understand that when something is wrong it doesn’t matter whether or not they are caught – what matters is their reaction to the wrongful act. If they are sorry they get caught, they’ll try to do better the next time and not be caught. On the other hand, if they recognize that what they did was wrong and are sorry they did it, there is hope that they won’t do it again. Paul describes these two kinds of sorrow: “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10) Paul wrote a very strong letter that we know of as 1 Corinthians that focused on a sin that was being committed and the bad reaction of the Church. The result was that people realized they were wrong and repented. Too many people work so hard at getting away with things in life that they are indignant when their sin is discovered. In fact, those who point out sin with the idea of helping people gain sorrowful repentance are the ones who are attacked and shamed for being judgmental. Repentance and salvation cannot come when people seek to justify their wrongdoing. It is only through godly sorrow that people who have done wrong can have a restored relationship with God. May we all recognize the errors of our ways and turn back to God in sorrow.
Lord, it’s so easy to point the finger at other people when I know that I myself have done wrong as well. Reveal my sin to me and give me Your attitude about it. Give me a godly sorrow for my sin and help me reflect Your love and grace to those who are still unrepentant about their sin.