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2 Corinthians 7

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

1 min read

Godly Grief vs Worldly Grief

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10

This verse really stuck out to me today. I didn't understand what it meant until I read some other articles.

If you have ever felt bad about something, you've experienced grief. Everybody has experienced grief. So then why make this distinction between godly grief and worldly grief? How are they different?

Worldly grief is more shallow. Someone who experiences worldly grief might feel bad about getting caught. They might feel bad about doing something that results in an unfavorable circumstance for themselves. They might even go as far as blame others. Worldly grief is self-centered.

Godly grief is more deep. Someone who experienced godly grief truly feels bad about their sin and repents. They turn away from their sins. Just like how God has justified anger towards sin, the one who experiences godly grief starts to hate sin so much that they cannot fathom it. Godly grief is righteous.

Worldly grief results in regret, but often times it simply stops right there. We know we did something bad, and we might even feel bad about it. But we're not motivated enough to do something about it. We're content with just feeling bad.

Godly grief results in repentance. Because we now hate sin, we are motivated to turn from sin and banish it from our lives.

Honestly, worldly grief is a lot easier than godly grief. It's passive, it's effortless, and we don't need to do much thinking or take much action. However, that's why it leads to death. If we do nothing about our sin, we remain dead.

Godly grief is the much more difficult route because it requires us to fight against our sinful flesh-based desires. We have to humiliate ourselves before God to ask for mercy. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to overcome our flesh. We need to make ourselves helpless before God.

I find myself often preferring worldly grief simply because it's easier. Having read this verse, I'm hoping that I can be more diligent in recognizing when I have a choice and choose godly grief.

Devotional2 Corinthians

Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!