In this section of Paul’s letter, the part that strikes home for me is his discussion about being truly sorry for sins we commit. In verse 10 he states, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” The first part of verse 10 refers to being so sorrowful for our sins that it results in changed behavior. In other words, learning from our mistakes and living a changed live. The second part of verse 10 (after the comma) refers to only being sorry for the effects of the sin, or for being caught, and thus not changing our behavior to make sure it does not happen again. As none of us are perfect we all sin. When I sin which part of verse 10 more accurately reflects the way I behave? I strive to make it the first part. I hope you do too.
What keeps any of us from always learning from our sin - the realization that we have sinned and changing our behavior so we do not do it again. When someone points our something we have done do we get defensive? Pride is one element that can keep us from admitting our sin. Of course if we do not admit to ourselves that we have sinned then we will never be able to learn from it and change our behavior. I know sometimes pride gets in my way of acknowledging something I did or should have done.
As an illustration, please consider Peter and Judas the night before Jesus was crucified. Both of them denied Christ that evening – both sinned. However, compare Peter’s remorse and repentance with Judas’ bitterness. Peter changed his behavior and went on to become the first pope. Judas was haunted by his sin and committed suicide.
I hope you and I will continue our spiritual growth by learning from our shortcomings and working to change our behavior so we minimize sin. Where the heart is changed, the life and actions will be changed.
May God bless you,