SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul begins by concluding his thoughts from the previous chapter. He reminds them to live with integrity in both body and spirit. Why? Out of love and reverence for God.
- Paul then spends the remainder of the chapter writing about his personal feelings and deep affection for the Corinthians.
- He recognizes that his last letter hurt their feelings. He feels a little regret for offending them, but realizes it was necessary to bring them to repentance. He refers to this as godly sorrow which leads to salvation and no regrets, whereas worldly sorrow leads to a lifetime of regret, sadness, and ultimately, death.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Paul shows us that we will all face sorrow. The difference is whether it is godly or worldly. Worldly sorrow is purely selfish. We are so focused on me, myself, and I that we don't care who we hurt and what we do. This leads us on a path of destruction to nowhere. Godly sorrow focuses on regret for how we have hurt God and others. This moves us to repentance, forgiveness, and real lasting life change.
- Have you ever experienced either kind of sorrow mentioned in this chapter? When have you seen worldly sorrow that didn't really lead you to change anything in your life? When have you experienced godly sorrow that brought about true life change? What do you think was the difference between the two situations?
- Where in your life should you be experiencing some godly sorrow now?