From Sorrow to Repentance

Read: 2 Corinthians 7:10-13

When we are truly sorry for something we have done against God or against another person it usually brings forth a repentant heart within us. That repentance then leads us to an “eagerness” to clear ourselves as this passage proclaims.

Most Illinois basketball fans have bad memories of the way the 1989 season ended. The Flying Illini were ranked #1 in the country and picked by most to win the championship. Then in the final four they were upset by a Michigan team that they had beaten during the regular season.

I heard a story this week about Rumeal Robinson who played on that Michigan team. Apparently earlier in the season he had missed two free throws late in a game against Wisconsin that would have won the game for his team. He felt so bad about this that after each practice for the rest of the season he vowed to his team and coaches to shoot 100 extra foul shots before heading to the locker room.

Rumeal was then ready when he stepped to the foul line to shoot two shots with 3 seconds left in overtime in the national championship game. He made both and Michigan won the National Championship that year. Rumeal’s repentance had been genuine, and sorrow motivated him to work so that he would never make that mistake again.

When we are sorry for something we have done that sorrow should lead us to ask Christ to help us do better. If we say that we are sorry and continue to repeat the same behaviors then we are doing little to become better.

In this passage Paul says, “At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.” When true Godly sorrow leads to repentance this should be our desire. To not only receive God’s grace but to allow it to change us from the inside out.

Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “Don’t become bitter, become better.” Jesus can help us in that endeavor for sure. When we fail, his forgiveness is there for us, and his desire is to see us grow through that failure and become closer to his desire for our lives.

Make it personal: The next time you are sorry about something and seek repentance, ask Christ to help you overcome the attitude or temptation that led you down that road in the first place. His grace and his strength are sufficient!

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church