Godly vs. Worldly Grief (pt. 3) - What Godly Grief Looks Like

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what earnestness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. 2 Corinthians 7:9 – 11 (ESV)

Grief that is godly, leads His people to and through repentance. In the book, Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling, James MacDonald and Garret Higbee list the "fruit of repentance." They say that godly grief through repentance has these elements:

  1. Grief over sin - vs. 9 - 10 (pg. 360 - 361)
  2. Repulsion over sin - vs. 11 (pg. 361)
  3. Restitution toward others - vs. 11 (pg. 361 - 362)
  4. Revival toward God - vs. 11 (pg. 362)
  5. Readiness to move forward - vs. 10 (pg. 363)

(Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling ed. by James MacDonald ©2013 by Biblical Counseling Coalition. Published by Harvest House Publishers.)

Repentance is a painful process. It comes down to taking responsibility for the pain you either brought upon yourself or caused others. It's more than a simple apology. Repentance takes time. Repentance admits weakness. Godly sorrow leads to repentance that relies on the power of God to bring about real change.

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