Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Grace or Judgmental System of Thinking

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. II Corinthians 7:10

For years I wondered about the distinction between godly and worldly sorrow. The difference seemed important. One view brings life without regret while the other leads to death. One way allows us to fail without shame. The other brings destruction. This is not talking about the end of life but the destruction of emotional life through depression, anxiety, fear and defensiveness. After study and reflection I offer some thoughts about these two kinds of sorrow. St. Paul is speaking to the people to whom he had written earlier challenging them to consider what they had been doing.  In this letter he affirms them for seeing his point and turning back to their former ways.  

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. II Corinthians 7:10

Godly Sorrow
Worldly Sorrow

1. Convicts us of our spiritual and moral situation. We face “Total Depravity” an inability to personally change our spiritual condition.
a. Believes we can contribute to our spiritual goodness; by works, self-motivation and spiritual exercises deserve or earn God’s love. By Bible study, church, good deeds, prayers and suffering we deserve God’s favor.
2. Admits we deserve punishment for sins but thankful Jesus paid our debt.
b. Deserve God’s punishment for Guilt & punish self to lessen it.
3. Confesses inability to repay God for Sin, insensitivity, callousness, bad behavior hidden and open
c. Try to repay God with confession, works, feeling sorry, tears and acts of contrition, service and suffering.
4.  Thankful for grace, mercy & forgiveness that protects us from justice.  We do not justify selves to God or others.
d. Justice is demanded so we justify ourselves to self and others as well as to God.  Try to defend self and may offend others.
5.  We get more than we deserve.  He increases gifts, blessings, health, peace and abundant life without regrets.
e. Fails to recognize grace; fear, rejection, punishment and bad luck reign. Is angry but fears it is sinful.
6. God renews healing relationship with God and humanity. 
f. Seeks to remove the penalty of Sin, Shame and Guilt. 
7. Glorious recognition of God’s favor.
g. Abject pain and depression.

 Is your mind filled with godly ideas of grace and mercy or of fleshly ideas that bring condemnation and pain? A major portion of Renewing the Christian mind is the ability to choose grace and mercy rather than judgment and condemnation. You can use the boxes below to analyze your thought processes.

Grace and MercyJudgment and Condemnation

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