You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss. -2 Corinthians 7:9
I want to talk about the intersection that people find themselves in after they’ve made a horrible mistake.
There is a point when you’ve made your selfish decisions and you get halted by the red light of reality. That red light can be anything from getting caught to not being able to stomach yourself anymore. Whatever brought you to that point, you now have options in front of you, voices surrounding you and a rare moment of clarity when you’re looking at your behavior.
The options are to continue (denial), back track (panic), turn left (run for it) or turn right (hit it head on).
The voices can either be helpful or debilitating. You either have friends who show you grace and love or you have ‘big brothers’ (as in the prodigal son story) who want you to suffer.
The moment of clarity is when you can see that you have to change something, you see your options and you have to take inventory of who you really are.
When the Bible says that the ‘God begotten do not make a practice of sin’ it means that, though you may head off course, you can’t continue. He’ll see to it that you get caught or that your lust (for something other than God) fades into something that sickens you. It’s quick for some and takes years for others. But if they belong to Him, then eventually the sparkle of fantasy will fade and they’ll come home. You can never look at a living breathing human being and assume they’re all done with their travels. Nobody is dead until God says they’re dead and He doesn’t confer with us on that.
So, this intersection…this flashing yellow light of extreme caution…is where the real stuff happens. The stuff you’ve stolen, the things you’ve lied to protect, the places you’ve gone to satisfy the want are ripped of their depth and you can see them for what they are. Hollow, empty, and flawed. It leaves you with shattered dreams and lost identity.
Godly sorrow. This is the kind of lament that starts with all encompassing grace. When you are fully aware of what you have done and what that behavior deserves and the only thing you get from God is His love, compassion and mercy…His grace…that ushers in Godly sorrow. It’s the place where the defenses can relent. It’s the melt in the shoulders. The safe place to run.
The kind of sorrow that has us running to the feet of Jesus and letting His blood pour over us as we cry from the depths of us.
Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. –2 Corinthians 7:10
In grace we find out who we are and who He is. We don’t walk out of that intersection the same.
If you want to know how to respond to someone who sins and you want to see Godly sorrow from them, then love them.
…love covers a multitude of sins. -1 Peter 4:8