Grief is good if it leads to repentance

Sometimes what we need the most is what we want the least.

When we are in sin, we don’t typically want someone to confront us. Why? We all know the answer to that – we don’t like our flaws acknowledged by others. We want others to think highly of us, not that we fall so far short that others take note of our faults and feel the need to address the problem.

So, when we are confronted by sin, if we are not humble, we will go into self-protection mode. We’ll get upset at the one who spoke to us. We’ll get upset at what they said or how they said it. We’ll justify our behavior. Etc., etc., etc.

But, if we realize that what has been alleged is true, eventually we will grieve. We will lament the fact that we ARE flawed – that we ARE a sinner and it is noticeable to others. 

That fact can hurt … but it can produce something wonderful! Read on…

In my Bible reading this morning, the Apostle Paul referenced a “harsh letter” that he had previously sent to the Corinthian church. According to him, that letter addressed some serious sin problems in the church and it made them grieve. It got them upset. They wanted others to think that they had it all together but, instead, they were being corrected and it hurt them badly.

And the Apostle Paul wasn’t indifferent to their response. His heart broke over the fact that his necessary words of correction had hurt them. He loved those people and he hated to see them hurt. But, he knew that they had some issues and if he didn’t point them out, no one would. They wouldn’t be free to experience God’s best. So, he caused them to grieve … but it produced repentance! They saw their sin for what it was and they turned their back on it, trusting in Jesus to cleanse them.

Grieving isn’t necessarily a good thing. Repentance is ALWAYS a good thing! It breaks the chains of sin and frees us to experience God’s best.

2 Corinthians 7:8-9 (NLT)
“I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.”

So, don’t get upset when sin is pointed out in your life. It’s human to respond that way but it is also counterproductive. Ask God to help you assess if there is sin in your life that you need to get rid of. Let the sadness of realizing you fall so far short of God’s perfect standard move you to fall at the foot of the cross and receive Jesus’ abundant forgiveness and cleansing and the ability to conquer that sin in your life.

And then thank Him for it.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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