“I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance…” (V9) Thieves stole nearly $5,000 in sound and office equipment from a church in West Virginia, only to break in the following night to return the items they had taken.
Apparently, the guilt of stealing from a church weighed so heavily on their conscience that they felt the need to correct their criminal behaviour of breaking the commandment: “You shall not steal” (Exo 20:15) Their action make me think about the differences between worldly sorrow and Godly sorrow. Paul praised the Corinthians for understanding this difference. His first letter to them was biting as he addressed issues of sin. His words caused sorrow among them, and because of this Paul rejoiced. Why? Their sorrow did not stop at just feeling sad about getting caught or suffering the unpleasant consequences of their sins. Their sorrow was godly sorrow, a genuine remorse for their sins. This led them to repentance – a change in their thinking that led to a renouncing of their sin and turning to God. Their repentance ultimately led to deliverance from their sinful habits. Repentance is not something we can do unless we have the prompting of the Holy Spirit: It’s a gift from God. Pray for repentance today (2 Tim 2:24-26) (ODB)
O Wind of God, come bend us, break us, Tell humbly we confess our need;
Then in Thy tenderness remake us, Revive, restore – for this we plead – Head.
Repentance means hating sin enough to turn from it.