Good Sorrow

Mark Heijerman

READ : 2 Corinthians 7:8-16

Nobody likes pain but we learn from it. Nobody likes getting burned, but the caution learned from a little heat may save a life later. No child likes discipline, but the maturity attained by a little forced discomfort makes for wiser adults.

Nobody likes the pain of sorrow and trials, but Paul reminds us that pain can produce repentance and salvation. So, even though an earlier letter of his to Corinth caused extreme pain, the Apostle’s regret was short-lived because the sorrow he caused turned many to God. Paul calls this godly sorrow. It is a true remorse which leads the sufferer to make life changes.

In contrast to this, Paul also mentions worldly sorrow. This sorrow “brings death” and no positive outcome. Godly sorrow looks beyond the immediate crisis and seeks solutions that address the cause of painful sorrow. Worldly sorrow is only interested in a temporary fix. Godly sorrow seeks to correct the sin behind the pain. Worldly sorrow seeks only to dull the pain. Godly sorrow leads the weary to God and thus brings life. Worldly sorrow leaves the real problem untouched and leads to death.


Gracious Father, in our sorrow give us strength, and lead us to the One who will some day wipe away every tear. Amen.