“For you were made sorry in a godly manner” Paul writers in (2 Corinthians 7:9).
What, godly sorrow? Is there a thing like that, I have heard of godly joy, but sorrow!
Well, if the inspired Word says so, lets dig deep into it. There is not only a godly sorrow but also it was once stirred by Paul, our great Paul! by his letter to Corinthians. I am not going to argue over whether there is a “sorrowful letter” in between I and II Corinthians or I Corinthians is the “sorrowful letter”. Regardless of that, Paul did write a “sorrowful letter” and Corinthians received it, that is what is matter.
I am always troubled about Christians (well-meaning ones) tippy-toeing around others not to offend. Some may even go to the extent of compromising their deep convictions. It’s all done with good intention and misleadingly called “godly humility”.
There are times, when a good Christian will raise up, look at evil in its face, call it a sin, and do so without apologies.
Three truths about this godly sorrow, I am drawing from this portion of the scripture are.
Godly sorrow must lead to repentance of a specific sin. Please read “I am happy now. It is not because you were hurt by my letter, but because it turned you from sin to God.” (2 Corinthians 7:9)
Godly sorrow should not hurt a person personally, by demeaning their character, moral, or identity, it should be focused on their act. Paul confirms “You were not hurt by what we did.”
The causative sin of the godly sorrow must be fully forgiven after repentance and necessary restitutions. Paul does it too “If you forgive a man, I forgive him also. If I have forgiven anything, I have done it because of you. Christ sees me as I forgive.” (2 Corinthians 2:10)
Now, let’s deal with, why we should defy our natural desire to please and, face the confrontation right on?
Because, when done rightly it can produce amazing results. Look, what the sorrowful letter had done to the Corinthians. Paul exclaims, “For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication!” I love many of these inspiring outcomes, my heart pumps little faster to read this portion with exclamation, indignation, vehement desire, zeal, vindication!
Oh, wow and wow, even in Corinthians that sorrowful letter produced zeal. Why would I dare to hold someone from gaining zeal, by protecting my desire to please?
So, my friend, unapologetically, appropriately, and if applicable,
Write your sorrowful letters,
Make that sorrowful call,
Text away your sorrowful text…..
That is a very Christian thing to do, but after it produces zeal, and repentance, forgive and move on. May I add, never forget to affirm your love in the midst of it all. Read here what Paul writes, like a helpless romantic he says, “I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.” And that kinda love, love in the midst of confrontations, that confirms godliness.