2 Corinthians 7:10 – “For Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 – “Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”
Today, in my devotional reading, I found it interesting that my New Testament passage and my Old Testament passage had this subject in common: sorrow. Being sad is part of life. It is inevitable. But there are two types of sad: Godly sadness and worldly sadness… sorta like there is Godly righteous anger, and sinful, worldly anger. Both are anger, but one is godly, while the other is sin. I had never thought about it before, but ‘sorrow’ can be the same way. When the sin that we get so easily entangled with makes us sad – that can actually be a great thing!
When I willfully sin, and there is no sadness about it, something is really wrong. This should be a HUGE red flag! Because, that sadness is a result of God’s Spirit, within me, grieved. That leads me to repent, which leads to my salvation. If I’m enjoying my sin, then where has God’s Spirit gone? Ephesians 4:30 declares, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption“. Apparently, God’s Spirit can be ‘grieved’. My sin can dull my hearing from Him… and when that has happened I experience no conviction and no sadness.
May you and I be like David, after facing his own sin face-to-face, prayed, “Father, create in me a clean heart, and renew your Holy Spirit within me. Replace my wicked curiosity and love for sin with a hatred and godly sorrow over it instead. Forgive me and let me enjoy Your presence again today” (my rough translation of Psalm 51). Thank God for His love, His Word, and His forgiveness!