Monday, August 09, 2004

Godly Sorrow
a follow-up to Thursday's post

"...yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us." 2 Corinthians 7:9

Sorrow isn't an emotion that's comfortable. It's not something that we wish on ourselves or our loved ones. Yet it is the instrument that God uses to change us -- not for the sake of change itself, but to change us to be more His.

The Christian life starts with this Godly Sorrow, which leads us to repent of our sins and look to Him to cleanse us and lead us. Without this sorrow, we do not see the need for Him. We do not see that we have hurt Him.

There is love in this sorrow -- if it is truly Godly sorrow. We hate the fact that we have hurt the One that has loved us so immensely. We love Him because He first loved us. We realize this love when we come to the point of salvation, which involves repentance.

And our Christian growth -- the process of sanctification -- includes one episode after another where we grieve for our shortfalls.

This is sweet sorrow -- the pains of growth in Christ. However, we can bring bitter sorrow on ourselves through disobedience -- rebellion -- living by the flesh.

Yet we rejoice, because we realize that God has made the provision for us. Jesus Christ has made it possible to move past our imperfections, past the sorrow of our sin, and into the joyful relationship that is eternal life.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

What Grieves God

"You learn to like someone when you find out what makes them laugh, but you can never truly love someone until you find out what makes them cry." -Anonymous

"Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart."
Ecclesiastes 7:3

In what capacity do you see that these concepts are true in our relationship with God?