September 18: “Guilt that Produces Repentance”

4 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 14
2 Corinthians 7
Ezekiel 21
Psalms 68

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

2 Corinthians 7:10 (CSB): “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Wouldn’t it be nice if God shipped a “Spiritual Birth Certificate” to our front door when we got saved? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had something tangible in our hands to let us know that we truly belong to Him?

Well, that’s not the case. When we get saved, there are things that will validate our true standing with God but it’s nothing like a piece of paper. Instead, it’s a changed heart, a changed mind, and changed behaviors.

This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to pursue holiness after we profess our faith in Jesus Christ. Not only has God told us to obey His commands, it also provides us with the assurance that we truly belong to Him.

But, there’s yet another test that we can take to determine if we are genuinely saved. It has to do with what goes on inside our hearts after we do something wrong, something that violates a law of God. Sure, we will feel bad but what does that bad feeling produce?

2 Corinthians 7:10 (CSB): “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly grief produces death.”

We are told in this verse that when we so something wrong, we will experience grief. Virtually everyone feels bad when they know they have violated a law.

But the question becomes: “What does that grief produce in your life? What typically happens after you have those bad feelings?”

If it is the grief that God sends, that Christians feel, then it will produce repentance. It will lead us to confess our disobedience to God and then make a change in our life so that we determine not to do the bad thing again.

If it is the grief that a non-believer feels, it doesn’t motivate them to turn from the bad thing and submit to the Lord’s commands. Instead, it simply leads to self-condemnation (a.k.a. death). A non-believer will not want to experience this emotion so they will work to get rid of the feeling by denying the legitimacy of the law, or the legitimacy of their feelings, or by doing things to take their minds off of their guilt.

So, friend, do you feel bad when you do something you know is wrong? I sure hope so. But do those feelings cause you to make the adjustments in your life to turn from disobedience to obedience to King Jesus? Or do they simply leave you miserable and looking for ways to get rid of the painful feelings?

Your answer will, to a great extent, help you to determine your eternal standing with God.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I know all too well that my heart strays from You more often than I care to admit. Thank You so much for causing me to realize my error by causing me to feel godly sorrow which produces repentance. Help me, Lord Jesus, not to keep this to myself but to share with others how they can come into relationship with You and can have a productive end to the temporary feelings of guilt. I pray this in Your Name. Amen.

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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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