May 30

Je Ne Regrette Rien, Part 2

II Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

If there is a regret inside that’s rooted in your own sin, the Lord may well be working a godly sorrow inside of you. Perhaps you’re not sure if that’s the case; maybe you’re not sure if a sin was involved. Happily, God knows. Ask Him directly if there is a sin in the midst of all those feelings as you lay out the regret and every accompanying sentiment at His feet.

Release your own attempts to figure things out and just receive the movement of His Spirit. If you are coming up empty, there may be a human He wishes to speak through. It takes a certain degree of humility to do, but the answer may lay with someone who knows you and who was “there” at the time or involved in the situation that led to the regret.

If you know there is sin involved in the regret, there are many kinds of sorrow that might be attached:
• If we regret things because they didn’t work out, that’s worldly sorrow.
• If we are sorry because we messed things up for ourselves, that’s worldly sorrow.
• If we are sorry because we messed things up for others, that’s a mix of godly and worldly sorrow.
• If we regret something because we sinned against God, and in the process hurt others and perhaps ourselves as well, that’s godly sorrow.

It may take us a while to get to the point of godly sorrow (see how long it took Joseph’s brothers to get to that point in Genesis—see February 27 and 28 entries). We often develop fortresses of defense around our regrets, as we don’t want to compound our hurt with the added pain of repentance. This is often our sticking point, and the reason we can’t make progress spiritually. God is patient, and this is understandable, but God doesn’t want us to be stuck at a point of confusion and inaction. We need to remind ourselves of His promise that godly sorrow leads to salvation, not to be regretted. It doesn’t lead to increasing amounts of pain—that’s the enemy speaking.

Once we get to the point that we realize that our first offense was against God Himself (like David in Psalm 51:4: “Against You, You only, have I sinned”), we bring that sin and that regret to the Lord for forgiveness. It’s often not that easy, but yes, it’s that simple: I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Godly sorrow is a gift from God, and not something to be feared. Only our enemy tells us that it will crush us. God knows it will liberate us, and it’s His heart to keep working that into ours.

Prayer: Lord, please move from within and without to lead me to godly sorrow for those sins that have caused my regrets. I give You permission to sift through every thought and feeling attached to them. I trust You that this is for my building up and my sanctification. Thank You that You work all things together for my good.

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