Godly Sorrow Produces Repentance

John Wesley and a preacher-friend of plain habits were once invited to dinner where the host’s daughter, noted for her beauty, had been profoundly impressed by Wesley’s preaching. During a pause in the meal, Wesley’s friend took the young woman’s hand and called attention to … More


One of the most difficult things to do in life is to rebuild a shattered relationship. Unfortunately, there are many broken relationships  today in homes, churches and ministries, which can only be repaired when people face problems honestly and deal with them Biblically and lovingly. This is what Paul is trying to do in II Corinthians and especially in chapters 6 and 7. Paul  had written a very severe letter of rebuke to the Corinthians and at times had regretted it (v. 8). (We have no copy of this letter). His primary motive in writing the letter was to benefit them. They had  read his “painful letter,” had repented of their sins and disciplined the members who had created the problems. Now, Paul’s heart  rejoiced that they had accepted his message and had acted upon it (v. 9). He had suffered a great deal because of this situation but this made all of his efforts worthwhile.

When God makes you feel sorry enough to turn to him and be saved, you don’t have anything to feel bad about (vv. 10-11). When I wrote you, it wasn’t to accuse the one who was wrong or to take up for the one who was hurt. I wrote, so that God would show you how much you do care for us (v. 12). And we were greatly encouraged (v. 13). In Paul’s discussions with Titus, he was convinced that the opposition in Corinth came only from a small group of dissenters and the vast majority of the congregation wanted to do what was right. Now this conviction is confirmed by the report Titus gives to Paul (vv. 14-16).


I must never let pride keep me from admitting sin in my life. I must accept correction as a tool for my Spiritual growth and do all I can to correct problems that are pointed out to me.

II Corinthians 7:8-16 (English Standard Version)

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 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. So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. Therefore we are comforted. And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you.

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