This week's devotional is from Michael Hill, Director of Worship Experience
ENCOUNTER: 2 Corinthians 7:10
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
The Apostle Paul took the time in his second letter to the Corinthian church to celebrate how their “Godly sorrow” over their hurtful ways had brought them to a place of repentance. In our sermon this past Sunday, we looked at the way God uses His loving rebuke to break our hearts over our sin. Sometimes we Jesus followers react to our own shortcomings with an attitude that says “oh well, good thing I’m forgiven, right?” But our God calls us to meet with Him in His holiness, weighing accurately the deeper implications of the ways in which we move opposite to His movement.
In your daily meeting time with the Lord, remember to incorporate a time of confession. Think upon the ways that your thought life or outward behavior has been in contrary to what you know is God’s “way everlasting” (Psalm 139:24). Then, before asking God to merely forgive you and then moving on to your prayer requests, ask God to help you weigh accurately what it is you’ve done. Allow yourself to dwell upon your sin for a moment or two. This may be an emotionally painful thing to do, but don’t skip this very important step! Ask God to reveal to you why this is a hurtful way, either to you, someone else, or to God himself. This will be uncomfortable, BUT the next time you’re tempted in the same way, you will recall the reasons why it’s not life-giving. This “Godly sorrow” is God’s gift to us, so that we may rewire our thoughts and actions! Lastly, remember that Jesus is happywhen we confess, because He can begin his transformational process of branding us with his righteousness. (Phil 3:9)
BE A BLESSING:
Ask god to reveal to you the ways you’ve been being hurtful toward those closest to you. Go to them and let them know that you can see how you’ve been making them feel, and that with God’s help, you’ll be trying to do better. You may be surprised at how this simple acknowledgment of your own hurtful ways will affect the dynamic of a challenging relationship, positioning both parties for the cultivation of a new beginning.
2 Corinthians 7:11 listed the things that Godly sorrow produces in those who are repentant: Intense conviction; eagerness to have a clear conscience; intolerance of unjust treatment; a state of alarm at what sin can do; and a longing to be the Godly people Christ calls us to be. Think of those you know from God’s family who exemplify these attributes and invite them to share a meal with you. What is it about the way they are doing life with Christ that you might be able to emulate? Find those whom you long to be like, and let some of their Godly sorrow mojo rub off on you!