(July 27, 2015)
The concept of two types of sorrow – Godly working repentance and worldly working death – is an important one. But to this point in my life, I have mainly been focused on the type of sorrow that I felt – ensuring that when I sorrowed that my sorrow was Godly in nature.
But having gone through the experiences that I have gone through recently, and having had a great amount of sorrow caused me by the actions of others, I began to think about the sorrow that we cause.
When I have caused sorrow in the past, has it been Godly sorrow or worldly sorrow? I can think of at least one instance when it has been unquestionably worldly sorrow that I caused, and I see that worldly sorrow working the death of the one experiencing it. I am left without any way of fixing those past mistakes (and thus forced to leave it in the Lord’s hands), but that is a sobering thought.
These experiences, both seeing the wrongful sorrow caused to me and the wrongful sorrow I have caused, reminds me of the extraordinary importance to be certain that we cause as little sorrow as possible, and the sorrow that we cause is Godly rather than worldly. But, ultimately, it has also brought me some comfort and reminded me that we are each agents to ourselves and have the choice in how we respond. Just as I was able to respond with Godly sorrow despite the mistakes of others (and, presumably, some reacted to Paul’s words with worldly sorrow), so too are we each in the position whenever we are sorrowful to decide for ourselves if that sorrow will be Godly or worldly.