2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Apparently there’s a difference between crying over something and crying over something. So how can I tell the difference? What is worldly sorrow and what is Godly sorrow? I certainly don’t want to cry myself to death! Well, this word “sorrow” is really all about grieving. It is about mourning and carrying on. But according to Paul, there are two different types of grieving and sorrow. Let’s take a look, starting with the worldly type:
Worldly sorrow would best be summed up with this one word: crybaby. You know the type. It’s the kid in school that cried over just about everything. You would look at her funny and bam, tears. Someone would insult him, tears. Even when someone said good job, tears. Tears, tears, tears. Whether it was a little owie or a heart wrenching relationship break up, this person always cried. And unless that person was you, it drove you crazy. They were so susceptible to cracking at any moment. I think we can all agree that is not a healthy way to live. It will lead to depression, anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, and the list goes on. Really, it lead to death. And this whole worldly sorrow and grief is rooted in insecurity. It doesn’t produce change, it produces paralysis.
Godly sorrow and grief, however, produce change. It is the process of realizing that you have fallen short of the glory of God. It is the discovery that you don’t measure up to the standards God has placed before you. Godly sorrow is the understanding that you are truly poor in spirit. And it is this kind of sorrow that leads to repentance. It is this kind of grief over your despicable self that leads you to Jesus. But it doesn’t hang out in the valley of regret; it leads you to the cross of grace. It produces salvation, because you finally understand how in need of salvation you really are. In fact, this kind of sorrow actually leads to joy because there is a result, an outcome. That result is the saving power of Jesus Christ that transforms your life, takes away your sin, and produces a new creation – a better you! That’s some effective sorrow. So let’s not just be a bunch of crybabies. Let’s grieve the gap between ourselves and Jesus and allow Him to come in and close that gap in our lives.