2 Corinthians 7:10 – Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
There are two kinds of sorrow. They are laid out here for us to compare. We see that godly sorrow brings repentance, while worldly sorrow only brings death. We are all going to experience sorrow at some time in our life.
Say you are doing something and you make a mistake, and your mistake ends up hurting someone. You feel bad and are genuinely sorry for what you did. Feeling sorry for your actions is not wrong, but in the way you process that sorrow could be. Here’s the difference.
With worldly sorrow you will beat yourself up over the mistake that you made. You will start telling yourself that you are stupid and a failure. Soon all the focus will be on yourself and you begin saying things like, “How could I have done that? I’m such an idiot and a screw up.” I think we’ve all been here before.
Maybe it’s not so bad the first time, but eventually it starts to wear on you. Every time you screw up it gets worse and worse until you start expecting it. Eventually you lose all confidence in yourself and any hope that you could do better. While you may not be physically dead, your life is not there and you don’t enjoy anything that you do. Hence, worldly sorrow brings death.
Then there’s Godly sorrow. Let’s look at the same scenario, but a different response. You still feel bad for what you did, but this time you apologize and do what you can to make it right. In this scenario you realize that everyone makes mistakes and you are willing to take the consequences for what you did and move on. In order to avoid making the same mistake again you turn from it, which is repentance. Then you figure out how to change your pattern to avoid it in the future.Really what it comes down to is where your focus is. In the first situation your focus is inward, on yourself, while the second is outward, namely on God and how you can make it right. Worldly sorrow is full of regret, but Godly sorrow is not. Purpose to live your life for God, and if you make a mistake don’t beat yourself up over it. Learn from it, make it right and move on.