Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Godly or Worldly Grief

2 Cor. 7:8-12 (ESV)
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. [11] For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. [12] So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God.

Paul talks about regret. Last week at our Winkel in the Utah circuit. Us pastors got off topic (A very rare thing to happen.) We started discussing things we regretted, episodes in our ministry we second guess. I suppose every pastor has this same tendency. We want to bring people to godly grief, so they repent, and are forgiven. Problem is there is no sure way to know how the law is going to work. Sometimes the people have godly grief, and us pastors rejoice. We forgive them. But is it ever sad to see worldly grief producing death. Worldly grief on behalf a parishioner, grieves the pastor. Hopefully it produces godly grief for the pastor. It is good to know though that even Paul suffered from this worry. Souls are a hard thing to deal with.

1 comment:

Es ist das Heil said...

Probably a good thing that you discuss your regrets with other Pastors, as they can learn from you and you can learn from them.
I guess it is hard for those of us not in the Pulpit to understand the Trials and Heartaches that You must endure as a Pastor. Must be Horrible!

I often wonder how it hurts God when we show no interest in Him or His Gospel. It makes me feel ashamed! Thanks be unto God that He is a God of Grace and Mercy!