(2 Corinthians 7) – True Repentence
Paul shares his desire with the Corinthians, that they would open their hearts to him and his team.
It’s obvious that whatever the contents were of this “tearful letter” mentioned at the beginning of the book, it pained Paul to write it. He loved these people and didn’t want to bring sorrow to them by ushering in such tough rebuke.
That’s the thing with being a leader/parent/mentor, you never delight in the act of disciplining, but you do it because you love the person and want to see them grow, even if that means they don’t like you in that moment.
Paul didn’t like seeing that his letter caused them pain, but he did take joy in seeing what the truth produced in them.
It could’ve gone several ways…they could’ve fallen off the deep end and walked away from Christ. They could’ve plunged into depression and never walked in confidence again…
Or…they could’ve done business with God, changed their minds about their sin, and moved forward to walk in obedience as a faithful and humbled servant of Christ.
That’s the goal of discipline, restoration and reconciliation, not guilt.
When someone truly repents the way that God wants them to, it looks a certain way. There are some distinguishing marks of “godly sorrow” that separate it from mere behavioral conformity (devoid of heart change).
There is an earnestness, a genuine desire to do right.
There is a vindication of self, a desire to clear one’s name of wrong. Not because of concern of other’s opinions, but because a servant of God shouldn’t have evil attached to their names.
There is an hatred of evil, and a fear of God.
There is a longing to do good, and a zeal to obey.
Seeing this church in that place of godly sorrow brought joy to Paul. We should always be happy when someone turns from sin and turns to the Lord.
I wonder what our repentence looks like? Could it be described as this godly sorrow? Or do we simply fill will guilt and regret without changing our minds about our sin?