A Note From Chris- June 29, 2023

I’m sorry.

Those can be powerful words, can’t they? No, this is not a confessional today, but a quick look at a passage I was compelled by this week while reading the “Verse of the Day” from the YouVersion Bible app. It’s a great way to start your day, BTW.

Here’s the verse: 2 Corinthians 7:10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

Paul is suggesting that there are at least two ways to say, “I’m sorry”, and they are NOT the same. They look identical, but often sound different. They certainly have different meanings. Here is what I believe is the difference.

Meaning #1 of “I’m sorry”

We speak harshly, treat someone poorly, make a selfish decision, cause hurt, or speak with contempt. When that sort of thing happens and we either are personally convicted or held accountable by someone else, we are cut to the heart. Then, the natural and right response to someone else (or to God) is, “I’m sorry. I really am. How can I make it right?”
When offer that kind of, “I’m sorry,” you are making a genuine effort to restore a relationship, and hopefully the other person can tell. When we experience sorrow (feeling sorry) because we know what we’ve done hurt God or someone else, we then move away from sin or more hurtful actions. Paul says that is the kind God wants for us. When we listen or are convicted with humility, Godly sorrow is the result, and it often results in the fruit of the Spirit. Paul goes as far as to say there is no regret there (even if we don’t like how we acted), because our posture is moving away from that direction and toward salvation.
This is why when we start a sentence like, “Well, I’m sorry BUT....” (With an elevated tone), we probably are NOT that sorry, just agitated.

Meaning #2 of “I’m sorry”

This version of that sorrow is thinking down on ourselves, thinking we are worthless or unvaluable. “Worldly sorrow” as Paul calls it doesn’t lead forward, but deeper in the hole. While many things can lead us down that path, “I’m really a sorry/bad/worthless person” doesn’t lead to repentance. When we mess up or are not what we wish or where we wish in our lives, we should instead remember the truths of God and his promises, make appropriate apologies where needed, and grab on tight to Jesus. Thinking negatively of ourselves or believing the lies that our actions diminish our value in God’s eyes is a tactic used by the Enemy to keep our focus on ourselves and not on Jesus’ saving power.
Are we “sorry” people? In summary, yes, we are. We should do better and be better, but sin is awfully powerful and present. But thanks be to God, we aren’t valued by our sin, but by our Savior. Let’s experience Godly sorrow, and together move further into the arms of Jesus and what he says about who we are.

1 Comment

Rob - August 1st, 2023 at 8:36pm

Sorry is such an easy word to say but the path we take after that word is what means the most. God knows my intentions when I say I’m sorry/apologize. Life is full of mistakes and blame. But it’s up to me to actually make a change and show God that I understand my faults and do better.





no categories


no tags