There is a vast difference between admitting or confessing your sin and feeling true sorrow for your sin. In fact, there is good reason to believe many of us probably have unconfessed sin our lives.
“And Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
A heart that is truly seeking the Lord will feel a sense of sorrow for sin.
We can look at the children of Israel for an example. Exodus 33:4 contains a key word – “mourn.”
“When the people heard these distressing words,
they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments.”
The children of Israel were a very expressive people. When they celebrated, they really celebrated. When they mourned, they really mourned. The word “mourn” in this verse speaks expressly about wailing and lamenting with great sorrow. Why were they mourning? God revealed to them their sin. We see in them a pattern for us, teaching us how to respond to God when confronted with sin. It is important that we learn from their example, as we tie these two verses together.
I personally can think of times I have done wrong and I have casually asked the Lord to forgive me but there was no change of attitude in my heart, there was no sorrow, there was no lamenting, there was certainly no mourning. I never thought twice about it and just went on with whatever I was doing, subconsciously satisfied with my casual act of repentance. But the Bible teaches something very different. “Godly sorrow” brings repentance, not a casual admission of wrongdoing.
Repentance can come with responses of sorrowful emotions from the extreme wailing and mourning the children of Israel experienced, or deep regret, or sincere sadness for having offended the Lord.
Take some time today to search your heart, asking the Lord to reveal to you any areas of wrongdoing to which you need to apply “Godly sorrow.” It may be that you need to ask God for a sense of sorrow for the sin for which you are repenting. We know that if we ask according to God’s will, that He will give it to us; we are batting 1000 when we ask of Him something that He desires from us.
Allow yourself the privilege of experiencing true sorrow for your sins. You will find a burden lifted that you never realized was there. Don’t back away from this opportunity to bless the Lord and to reap the benefits of living with “no regret”.
Forgive me, Lord, for not approaching You with heart of true sorrow. Lord, help me to approach You sincerely and honestly with a heart determined to please You even when I miss the mark. I want nothing more than to stand before You pure and free from any chains that might bind me to this old world. Lord, I ask You to teach me Godly sorrow and help me to quickly recognize when I offend You. Purify my heart, oh God, and help me to be a pleasing and submitted vessel of honor set apart to glorify You. There is nothing I would rather do! In Jesus name, amen!
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
© Jan Ross
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