Daily Reflections

The Right Kind of Grief

August 5, 2021 Mary Kassian

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. —2 Corinthians 7:10

True confession of our sin is more than just verbally acknowledging we did something wrong; it requires genuine sorrow. In 2 Corinthians 7, Paul uses the contrasting terms “godly grief” and “worldly grief.” What’s the difference? First off, grief is the heartache, sorrow, and remorse we feel when we do something wrong. But according to Paul, our sorrow can fall into one of two categories: it can be worldly, or it can be godly.

Worldly grief is self-centered. It’s caused by the loss or denial of something we want for ourselves. We’re not really sorry that we violated God’s laws; we’re just sorry about the fallout. Worldly grief is wrapped up in how my offense is impacting me; it’s self-centered.

Godly grief, on the other hand, is inherently God-centered. We’re sorry that we’ve sinned against God and that we’ve broken His holy and just law. Even though we feel sorry about how our sin has hurt others, we’re mainly sorry that we have damaged our relationship with Him.

Make it Personal

When you sin, do you tend to have a worldly sorrow or a godly one? Ask God to search your heart and show you.