“Is It Godly Sorrow or Worldly Sorrow?” May 6

 

Is it godly sorrow or worldly sorrow? Sin makes a mess of our lives. Many times we are miserable about the consequences of our sinful choices: a broken relationship, financial cost, punishment for bad behavior, or the loss of respect. But sorrow over consequences isn't necessarily godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow may involve emotional distress, fear, anger, even self-abasement. But it's goal in the removal of consequences. Just as it did with Saul in today's reading, it can, actually, lead to disqualification instead of restoration. Godly sorrow involves genuine repentance (brokenness over our sin against God) and leads to a changed life.Is it godly sorrow or worldly sorrow?

Sin makes a mess of our lives. Many times we are miserable about the consequences of our sinful choices: a broken relationship, financial cost, punishment for bad behavior, or the loss of respect. But sorrow over consequences isn’t necessarily godly sorrow.

Worldly sorrow may involve emotional distress, fear, anger, even self-abasement. But it’s goal in the removal of consequences. Just as it did with Saul in today’s reading, it can, actually, lead to disqualification instead of restoration.

Godly sorrow involves genuine repentance (brokenness over our sin against God) and leads to a changed life.


Today’s Readings:
1 Samuel 14 & 15
Psalm 57.1-3
Proverbs 15.24-25
Luke 23.1-25

 

Is It Godly Sorrow or Worldly Sorrow?

 

1 Samuel 14 & 15:

Downhill Fast

 

Things are going downhill fast for Saul.

God had judged the Amalekites for years of sin and idolatry (1 Sam. 15.1-3). So Saul was commanded to utterly destroy them and their property.

God was, also, giving Saul another opportunity to demonstrate his obedience. Instead of taking God at His Word, Saul decided to do what seemed right to him.

And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed (1 Sam. 15.7-9).

After disobeying God’s direct command, notice how he greeted Samuel:

“Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, ‘Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD'” (1 Sam. 15.13).

Because he had obeyed part of what God said, he thought that was good enough! And notice, the first thing Saul did after his victory, was to set up a monument for himself.

So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal” (1 Sam. 15.12).

Proverbs tells us that every man will proclaim his own goodness:

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts (Prov. 21.2).

But the Lord weighs the hearts. God knows our motives and He knew Saul’s, too.

And when he was confronted by Samuel for his disobedience, he immediately began blameshifting! First he blamed the people (1 Sam 15.21), then he tried to say he took the forbidden spoil so he could sacrifice it to God (1 Sam 15.21). And when he realized Samuel wasn’t buying it, instead of repenting, he only wanted to save face with the people:

“Then he said, ‘I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God'” (1 Sam. 15.30).

 

Godly Sorrow or Worldly Sorrow?

 

godly sorrow brokennessThe question for us is how will we respond when we blow it? With brokenness because we realize we’ve sinned against a righteous and holy God? Or with worldly sorrow?

Worldly sorrow is, merely, sorrow over the consequences of sin like a child who has been grounded for breaking curfew. He begs to be let out the consequences, swearing to never do it again. But he lacks any brokenness over sin or any change of heart.

Godly sorrow brings genuine repentance (brokenness over sin) which leads to a change of attitude and a change of behavior.  Continue reading

“The Wine of False Religion” December 28

 

The Wine of False Religion - Religious fanatics, suicide bombers, terrorists, even radical defenders of abortion or gay rights, could they be drunk on the wine of false religion? Also ... When we experience sorrow over sin, is it worldly sorrow or godly sorrow? And what do we have in common with lions, greyhounds, goats, and kings?Religious fanatics, suicide bombers, terrorists, even radical defenders of abortion or gay rights, could they be drunk on the wine of false religion?

Also …

When we experience sorrow over sin, is it worldly sorrow or godly sorrow? And what do we have in common with lions, greyhounds, goats, and kings?

 

Today’s Readings:
Zechariah 7-9
Psalm 148.7-14
Proverbs 30.29-31
Revelation 18

 

The Wine of False Religion

 

Revelation 18:

Drunk on Religion & Prosperity

 

terrorist rifle

Verse 3 says, “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

Just as wine can entice and weaken the resolve of the one drinking it and can blind one to the truth, the wine of false religion can blind, as well. It can be legalism (believing that rules and sacraments can save you), new age spirituality, today’s version of religious tolerance (believing that all roads somehow lead to God), or any kind of religious fanaticism.

Whether a person is fanatically religious in a pseudo-Christian way, fanatically atheistic, fanatically pro-abortion or pro-gay, or a fanatical Muslim or white supremacist, it has an appeal that can be intoxicating. This helps explain why men and women are willing to fly airplanes into buildings, strap on suicide vests or turn a gun on strangers and co-workers alike.

 

Prosperity

 

money in hand greed trusting richesAnd just as religious idolatry can make a person drunk, so too, wealth, abundance and a focus on material things can drug a person into a materialistic stupor, “the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

Eventually the world’s false systems of religion and economics will come to an end, but we must guard against any vestige of them in our lives even now.

Ephesians 5 says:

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

God does not want us to be drunk with wine or religion or any earthly thing, but rather to be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit. When we do, just as drunkenness affects a person’s walk and life, the filling of the Spirit will affect the way we walk and live.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Zechariah 7-9:

Broken and repentant or just sorry?

 

Verse 7.5 “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests. ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me?’”

Fasting was a sign of repentance and humility and recognition of sin. God was asking the people if their fasting was merely a religious exercise or done because they were broken over their sin and rebellion against Him.

Oftentimes, we express outward sorrow and regret over our sin, but we must ask ourselves, are we sorry because we don’t like the consequences of our sin?  Are we more like children who are about to be punished for some misdeed, crying, “I’m sorry; I’m sorry! I won’t do it again!” Or are we truly broken and repentant?

poutingThe first is worldly sorrow. It’s sorrow over the consequences and over the messes we make.

The second is godly sorrow. Godly sorrow leads to changes in our actions, not just outward expressions of sorrow.

It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 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 (2 Cor. 7.9b-10 NLT).

 

How can we tell the difference?

 

How can we tell if we are broken and repentant or just sorry? Continue reading