2 Corinthians 7: 9 Now I am glad—not because it caused you grief but because you were moved to make a permanent change[a] that can happen only with the realization that your actions have gone against God—I’m glad to know you suffered no long-term loss because of what we did.
10 Now this type of deep sorrow, godly sorrow, is not so much about regret; but it is about producing a change of mind and behavior[b] that ultimately leads to salvation. But the other type of sorrow, worldly sorrow, often is fleeting and only brings death.
I’ve been thinking about this post for several days and today my Catholic upbringing came to mind. I remember going to confession and leaving with assigned prayers designed to cover whatever sins I told the priest I had committed. The idea was to come clean and acknowledge my sin in order to be forgiven.
The pattern of sinning, confessing and praying repeated itself throughout most of my life before I actually knew God and by extension, myself.
It was a fruitless effort that made me feel bad about myself, guilty for my many transgressions and it reinforced my negative view of a God who existed to make me miserable. This is the danger of institutionalizing God without knowing Him.
The other side of this is when we acknowledge that we do know God, but we take that relationship casually. Jesus is our friend, but God is holy and we can’t cross that line into familiarity that removes the sacred.
Is your repentance genuine?
Contrition - sincere penitence or remorse
Attrition – do you have a hidden motive, as in fear of divine punishment or imperfect contrition?
Which of these defines your attitude toward sin?
Sin is hardly used anymore in our culture. Christians will say they made the wrong choices or had bad attitudes. We use any word, but the one that cuts to the core: SIN.
When you sin do you cover it up with quick prayers or apologies? But what about going before the face of God?
Do you go before God and cry out in contrition?
Do you spend time on your knees praying and asking for forgiveness with true contrition because you know God and you know you have hurt His heart?
Many of us don’t go there. It’s a deep place to go.
But that’s where we must go if we say we love God and know Him.