|Are You Sorry You Got Caught?
By Greg Sanders
2 Corinthians 7:10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
As a kid I made a mistake or two. Ok, maybe more than that. I still distinctly remember when getting caught in one of my escapades, I told my mother that I was sorry. She immediately asked me if I was sorry that I committed the crime or if I was just sorry that I got caught. That question sparked some genuine contemplation in my heart because I knew the real answer was I was sorry that I got caught. I really wondered, “What else is there to be sorry about?” I eventually learned that what my parents were trying to do was to move me to a state of repentance and not just a state of regret. My parents knew for repentance to take place I had to first experience the right kind of sorrow. By the way, my parents helped me experience that too. In a similar way, God wants His kids to move from simple regret to real repentance.
Here are a few truths to move us from regret to repentance.
Realize that there are some sorrows that God wants you to experience. That statement alone is contrary to many people’s theology. Many believe that God is a heavenly grandfather who never offers any type of discipline but gently pats you on the back as you go through life. However, Paul says that God wants you to experience a specific type of sorrow. He wants you to experience sorrow that will propel you towards repentance.
Realize that there is a difference between being sorry and repenting. Paul is not glad that he made the Corinthian church sorry. He is glad that they repented. There is a difference between the two. You can be sorry and not repent. Repentance is the step beyond sorrow whereby you make a 180 degree turn away from your sin and you strive diligently to move forward.
Realize that refusing to repent is a refusal of God’s restoration. Paul said there is no solution for those who reject repentance. That is a firm statement and also a statement of grace. Paul is saying that spiritual death is not the fate of those who do wrong but rather the fate of those who refuse to repent. That means that if you and I are willing to turn from sin and turn to Him, there is life present and eternal waiting for us.
Today’s Challenge: Is there sorrow and regret in your life? If so, welcome to the club. Allow that regret to lead you towards your loving Father who is ready to restore you as you repent and turn to Him.