“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV)
Have you ever felt like you’ve let Jesus down? The answer for everyone is typically “yes.” I know I have. Two of Jesus’ closest friends, Peter and Judas (two of his disciples) let him down in the most crucial situation of His life: Peter denied Jesus three times and and Judas betrayed Him into the hands of those who were to crucify Him. Both deeply regretted their actions (read Matthew 26:75 and Matthew 27:5).
Yet, Peter responded in the right way where Judas did not. Judas is an example of “worldly sorrow” where he was unable to bring himself to accept God’s mercy and forgiveness. Whereas, Peter is an example of “godly sorrow”. Maybe it was fear or maybe it was doubt that led Peter to deny Jesus, but it left him feeling so distraught that he “wept bitterly”. Peter’s relationship with Jesus was restored and he was freed from the guilt and shame that accompanied his denial. He went on to preach to many, many people and brought many to salvation in Jesus.
Mess-ups happen. It’s life, but you don’t need to be weighed down by guilt or shame about past sins or mistakes. Those whom Jesus sets free are free indeed (John 8:36). It is never too late to run into Jesus’ arms. He will always embrace you.
Lord, thank you that you were bound in order to free me from my sins. When I fail, help me always to turn back to You in “godly sorrow…that leads to salvation and leaves no regrets.”