For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
Once I was living life by my own wits. The decisions I made and the things I desired were pretty much like everyone else in the world. I did things that I thought I wanted, and I didn’t consider the consequences of the way I acted. I received Jesus as my Savior at a very young age, but I always pushed the limits to get my own way. I didn’t understand that I was a child of the most high God and that He was leading, but I wasn’t following Him. I was following the “sorrows” of the world that were leading me down the road to death.
This is what today’s scripture is talking about: It says, when you recognize that you are heading in a different direction than following God, you stop, have a change of mind and heart, turn around to consider God’s better way. You receive His salvation by surrendering all your old impulses and following Him and His plans. You will never regret it, but if you continue on the course of doing things the world’s way or even your own way, you are chasing after death and separation from the God that loves you.
I was a citizen of heaven and a person in God’s family, but those truths were not real to me. I tried being a good person and doing what I should do, but my desire to please my self was greater than my desire to please someone else, even my heavenly Father. As I became an adult, I was in and out of church for years. I could not find my place and was not satisfied to just come and sit, not to be connected in. My heart knew that I was a part of a body that had become detached from, and the life was draining out of me.
The deeper I got in the world, the more I was feeling the “sorrow” of it. The choices I made were producing regrets more than contentment. Finally, something changed on the inside and I began to go a different direction. When I realized that God actually had a planned successful life for me and I could know what it was, I repented by changing my heart, my mind and stopped doing what was right in my own eyes.
Today, I am determined to follow His plan for my life every step of the way. Because I spent the first half of my life on the wrong path, I press in close to Him every day, so I don’t get off track. I don’t always get it right, but I am aware now when He is speaking to my heart and if I notice when I am having any “I don’t want to do that” thoughts, I turn to Him for the strength and desire to do these things because I know they produce joy in my life.
Today I want to encourage you to examine your life. Are you making choices based on what you want in life or following the plan He made? Maybe you aren’t doing bad things, but you have become distracted by what is going on in the world around you. You can identify His plan by the lives you are impacting for Him. Do you spend time praying for those who need salvation? Do you share the love of God with those who are hurting in the world? Making your own plan for life will produce regrets and eventually a separation from the God who loves you. But when you have godly sorrow, you can quickly run back to His arms, His great salvation and the blessed life that He planned for you from the beginning of time.
Today’s scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 7: 8-16
2 Corinthians 7:8 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. 9 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. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 11 Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right. 12 My purpose, then, was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could see for yourselves how loyal you are to us. 13 We have been greatly encouraged by this. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was about the way all of you welcomed him and set his mind at ease. 14 I had told him how proud I was of you—and you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true! 15 Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way all of you obeyed him and welcomed him with such fear and deep respect. 16 I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.