Have you ever gotten in trouble for doing something wrong? How did you feel?
We all do bad things sometimes don’t we? Even after we have accepted Jesus we still make mistakes and act selfishly. And that’s called sin. We all sin.
The Corinthian Christians sinned a lot. In your Bible there is a First Corinthians and then a Second Corinthians. But in between these two letters Paul wrote another letter to this church yelling at them about their sin. Listen to how Paul talks about this letter and their response to the letter:
2 Corinthians 7:8-10. For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. 9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Paul didn’t like having to yell at them about their sin. In fact, he says he regretted it because he had to make them sad – “the letter grieved you.”
But Paul says that their grief and sadness led to them repenting of their sin. They had what Paul calls “godly grief,” instead of “worldly grief.”
Have you ever felt bad when you’ve sinned? Have you ever been grieved when you did something selfish or mean or disobedient? If you have felt sad when you sinned that’s good.
But here’s the question: WHY did you feel sad?
“Worldly grief” only feels sad because you got caught, or got in trouble, or were embarrassed.
But “godly grief” feels sad because your sin hurt God and hurt someone else. And when we repent and apologize with “godly grief,” then there can be real forgiveness and reconciliation – the relationship can be fixed. But when we act like we’re not really sorry that we hurt someone, then it gets really hard to trust each other and have a good relationship.
And remember, you never have to be afraid to ask people to forgive you because God has already forgiven you through Jesus. He will love you no matter what, even when we hurt each other and hurt him, he is there to help us make things right.
Because of Jesus we are always reconciled to God.
With Jesus we can have “godly grief” over our sin and apologize to others.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Practice how to say an apology with your kids. I know these are big words but a real apology contains Regret, Responsibility, and Restitution. “I’m sorry that you…” – NOT a good apology. “I’m sorry that I hurt you by….” – a much better apology.
Here’s a cute Daniel Tiger video about apologizing too.
Help me to have godly grief when I sin. I know my sin hurts you and others. Help me to always know that you love me so that I can apologize and be less selfish.
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