Godly Sorrow vs. Fleshly Sorrow
“Godly Sorrow leads to Repentance . . . But worldly sorrow leads only to death.” II Corinthians 7:10
There is SO much good, practical instruction on this issue in the second letter to the believers at Corinth. But that sentence, that idea, is the one from which The Holy Spirit would like me to speak today. He wanted to me to talk about the clear distinction in the two, entirely opposite, kinds of sorrow, to which we as humans are exposed. Which one is the wiser choice, and why.
“Godly Sorrow” is the temporary sadness that comes when we become aware of our own lack of character, our own sinfulness, our failures at righteous living. It is a result of the conviction of His Spirit, which comes from being exposed to His Truth, God's Standard for righteous living. It is to come to the awareness that we have, again, fallen short of His goals for us, His best for us. That we have, again, chosen poorly.
The Word is clear, however, that “There is NO CONDEMNATION, to those who are IN THE ANOINTED YESHUA”! (Romans 8:1) But, again, I must note the difference between condemnation, and conviction.
Conviction is an awareness of our sin-lapse, without the sense of embarrassment, condemnation or rejection. Condemnation, however, brings with it a total rejection oriented, self-loathing, regret, but with the side-effect of self-defense, which causes mental/emotional strongholds to develop, from which operate the cycle of perpetual failure, regret, loathing...failure, regret, loathing... etc..
This cycle is what drives most suicidal tendencies. Because, as the above Scripture points out, Worldly sorrow leads only to death, of one kind or another, eventually. We first die to hope of success. And then slowly we begin to die to living, we lose motivation to try. Some end their own lives prematurely, because of the pain of that kind of hopelessness.
But there is a better way! There is a choice! There is some GOOD NEWS! Yeshua came to give us the power to make that better choice, to take that better way, and to LIVE in success and blessing! But we won't get there by the kind of sorrow the flesh will produce, the world stays one pity-party away from suicide. We should avoid that at all cost. And especially since the cost has been paid for us!
Yeshua is The WAY that leads to righteousness. To choose Him as our leader, our shepherd and our King, is to Choose Life. To follow the sorrow that comes from the convicting power of His Spirit, that comes to lead us away from sin and into righteousness, to choose to use the Grace to Repent, when that sorrow comes to us, is to Choose Him, to Choose Life. Repentance is just “feeling sorry”, it is a determination to Change, with His help! He helps us open the gates which once held us captive, but we must choose to get up and walk out!
Feeling Sorry, and wallowing in pity will never achieve the changes we must make to walk in victory. But taking the responsibility to Repent and Turn from our ways of seeing and being, is the path to victory, joy, and peace. We must be sure to discern between the sorrow that is God-driven, and that of the world. If the flesh could accomplish righteousness then Yeshua came for nothing.
But we all know that isn't true. He came to redeem the sorry lot of humanity. The question is which kind of sorry will we choose to be?