Scripture 2 Corinthians 7:8-13
8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it, for I see that I grieved you with that letter, though only briefly). 9 Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance; for you felt a godly grief, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. 10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. 11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter.12 So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who was wronged, but in order that your zeal for us might be made known to you before God. 13 In this we find comfort.
- Contrast between godly grief and worldly grief
Godly grief Worldly grief
Leads to repentance Leads to death
Brings no regret
No one likes to hear hard things – I included! No one likes to be told he or she has done wrong. Or that something needs correction.
A few times in my life someone has told me something I didn’t want to hear but needed to know. A word of advice. A truth I didn’t understand. The reality of a situation I hadn’t known or understood. Sometimes it made me angry or strained a friendship. But always, always, always it let to my good.
I am not talking here about carping or ad hominem attacks or people who are negative about everything and everyone.
God can bring about real change in us when we really listen. God uses people whom we trust to tell us things we can trust but may not like. Godly grief leads to better things in Christ. More of it may be what we need, not less.
Lord, you grieve me only for my good. Your grief brings repentance, growth, and life. Make me sensitive not to my feelings but to the voice of your Spirit speaking to me through others this day. In the name of Jesus. Amen.