Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Whenever somebody accuses you of being wrong or tells you the truth about yourself, it hurts. It can produce one of two reactions, what Paul calls either
godly sorrow or
worldly sorrow. We all feel hurt, but the question, of course, is,
Is it godly sorrow, or is it worldly sorrow? Godly sorrow is the pain of suddenly becoming aware of something about yourself that has been hidden to you. An awareness of something wrong about yourself that you have not been able to see always creates a sense of anger, perhaps, of defensiveness, of injury, and often of tears. It is the moment of self-awareness, or what we call a
moment of truth. Have you ever had that happen to you? You were going about your life, thinking you were doing okay, when somebody came along and told you something about yourself. Even as that person said the words, there was a stab in your heart that said,
That’s right, isn’t it? You may be defensive, you may argue, or you may fight back, but deep inside you know that is true. It hurts, but if it is godly hurt, it leads to repentance. It makes you change. You alter your behavior.