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What Godly Sorrow Produces

In Matthew 5:4, Jesus is talking about the kind of mourning that produces godly sorrow. It’s not the sorrow of the world. Godly sorrow says, “God, I’m sorry that my actions have broken Your heart.” Worldly sorrow says, “God, I’m bummed that You caught me.” Scripture tells us that godly sorrow leads to repentance and worldly sorrow leads to death.  When we look closely at godly sorrow,  it challenges and encourages our hearts to start living with some mourning over our sin that will produce comfort from God Himself.

In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul blasted the Corinthians for allowing super-sinful behavior in their midst. As he challenged them on it, they responded correctly, mourning over their wrong choices. Later, in 2 Corinthians, he writes, “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

This is sorrow, my friends. This is mourning over our sin that is godly, right, and necessary. We need to get beyond seeing Jesus as our happy, flippant Savior and get to the point where we’re brokenhearted over breaking God’s heart. Then as we mourn over our sin, we allow change in our lives.

Paul tells (2 Corinthians 7:8-11) us that godly sorrow produces wonderful things in our lives. It leads to repentance, salvation, diligence, a clearing our ourselves, indignation, fear, vehement desire and zeal, and vindication.

When we examine what godly sorrow produces, it’s no wonder Scripture says that we are comforted. When we come before God with brokenness and humility, He visits us with comfort. When He sees our indignation with sin and our desire to get rid of it, He’s there to comfort us. Why? Because He’s the God of comfort and when we truly mourn over our sin, we’re doing His will. We are going His way.

Steve Berger is Pastor of Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork TN and the author of Have Heart: Bridging the Gulf Between Heaven and Earth. For this book and other resources by Steve visit our website.

4 responses to “What Godly Sorrow Produces”

  1. I’ve been in this place and can honestly say I would not have changed any of the circumstances that brought me to my end. The only thing I would change, of course, is my actions broke God’s heart. But, some of the most intense, life-changing communion times with God have come from this intensely sorrowful posture of repentence and regret over sin. I am blown away that God pours out kindness in the face of our sin. But He does. That’s who he is. Great post!

  2. Donna spittle says:

    It gets tougher though knowing the days are short. I think a ‘smaller fall’ produces bigger guilt.

    • Steve Berger says:

      Thanks, Donna. Hopefully when we fall, it’s in His arms where there’s comfort, hope and forgiveness. I appreciate your comment.