2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (ESV)
9 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.
10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
GODLY GRIEF. It doesn’t sound like both words should be together, but they can. In this passage, Paul is helping Christians on how to deal with regret. Like you and I know, just because someone accepts Jesus as their Savior doesn’t mean that they will never sin again. What it means is that they don’t have to be a slave to sin again.
But from time to time, even believers can have a moment of weakness or develop a blind side that keeps them from recognizing sin in their own lives. I’m sure some of the Christians Paul is talking to, like many today, feel a sense of shame or regret when they sin. How could they have done this act after Jesus has forgiven them?
Paul is trying to let them know that the there are two responses that we must take when faced with grief. One response is influenced by the devil and this demonic world. They will try and take your grief and add shame, to the point that they will try and get you to believe that you are no longer saved. Their attempt is to get you to doubt God’s saving power in your life, thus pulling you even farther away from Him.
The second response is influenced by God. You are feeling God’s own grief over your sin when you sin. This feeling is not God pushing you away. It’s actually His heart calling out to you and trying to pull you back to Him where He can restore you once again. When you respond to God, there is no regret. He removes all shame from your life.
As you’ve been examining your heart and life for sin, have you begun to feel grief over it? If not, God cannot do much. Your heart should break over anything in your life that does not reflect Jesus. The desire to change needs to come from a deep and honest place. When you get there, run to God and He will remove your regret and give you a grateful heart once again.