TODAY’S SCRIPTURE 2 Corinthians 7:10
There is a direct connection between mourning over our sin and receiving the blessing of God. Sin that is hidden will consume and destroy you. Healing begins when we acknowledge and confess our sin. But if confession of sin is like swimming a lake, mourning sin is like swimming the ocean. There are two ways to feel remorse over your sin. In both cases, it can be compared to grief. Paul gives the contrast, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
Jesus has two friends who each demonstrate these two types of grief over sin.
Judas betrays Jesus for money. Later he comes to his senses and demonstrates grief over what he has done. He tries to return the silver, but when the authorities refuse to reverse course, Judas hangs himself. He experiences grief, but it is worldly in nature and it produces death. He is sorry for what he has done but he does not mourn over his sin with repentance.
In many ways Peter does the same thing as Judas. He also betrays Jesus with his triple denial. Peter also comes to his senses and experiences grief for what he has done. But Peter’s grief is godly in nature. Peter comes to repent and confess his love for Jesus. Unlike Judas who landed in the Potter’s Field, Peter’s grief lands him in the Pentecost Sermon.
Mourning over our sin is a discipline. It is something to which we must commit our hearts. True grief over sin leads to change of behavior. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the cathedral door in Germany, the first on his list was essentially, “All of life is repentance.” He was right. Being a disciple of Jesus is all about the daily discipline of self-denial and taking up your cross. As much as anything this is about a lifestyle of constant self-evaluation, course correction, and repentance. While this spiritual exercise is painful, the result is invigorating spiritual life and peace.
Today, I will…thank God for the assurance of my salvation because of His grace but ask Him to soften my heart to continually mourn over the behaviors of my life that are contrary to Him and ask for the help from the Spirit to further change me into the image of Christ.