Trusting in God – Worldly and Godly Sorrow

Trusting in God for Salvation

2 Corinthians – Chapter 7


  • 2 Cor 7:1 Let us purify ourselves
  • 2 Cor 7:2-4 – Paul asks the Corinthians to open their hearts to him
  • 2 Cor 7:5-7 – Paul was comforted when he was in Macedonia by the coming of Titus and by them
  • 2 Cor 7:8-11 – They were made sorry by his previous letter and their sorrow led to repentance
  • 2 Cor 7:12 – Paul had written to them not for the sake of he who had done wrong, but to show his care for them
  • 2 Cor 7:13-15 – Paul rejoiced because Titus had been refreshed by them and he has confidence in them

Verse Selections

This chapter shows the love and care that Paul has for the Corinthians. He is proud of their response to his previous letter and of their welcome to Titus.

Here he describes an important concept about repentance.

Two Types of Sorrow

In 2 Cor 7:10 we see that there are two ways of being sorry for our sins and wrong actions. One comes from God and the other one comes from our flesh. Distinguishing between the two is very important because they produce opposite results. The first re-establishes our relationship with God that we had broken and empowers us through His grace to overcome the temptation and to resolve the damage we had produced.

Godly Sorrow Produces Repentance and Rejoicing

Godly sorrow is motivated by our realization that we have separated ourselves from God because we had preferred other things to the pleasure of being close to him. It is a sorrow that is focused on the desire to be one with Him. Godly sorrow enables us to repent, to decide to change and to obey God. This is a positive sorrow that does not make us depressed but makes us decide to act. When we have godly sorrow we are actually glad that our sin has been revealed because we don’t want it in our life.

This type of sorrow has a positive impact on us. It brings resolution of issues and once we have taken the resulting action, we look back with a sense of gratitude. You experience this type of sorrow when you are born again and any time a child of God realizes that he has sinned. The gospel enables you to see your sinfulness but also to see the love and power of God to save you. Then you can look back and rejoice in that realization and the decision you have made to open your heart to God.

Worldly Sorrow Produces Guilt and Depression

Worldly sorrow is often called guilt. Guilt is not a positive emotion and is related to our ego. It causes us to feel hopeless because it is focused on self and our lack of power to change. We feel sorry that we have been caught, but have not really repented. The focus is not on God, His love and His forgiveness. You hurt because you are not right and others know it too. Your feelings do not get you closer to God, but make you hide from Him and be resentful. We see this kind of sorrow in Cain’s reaction to God (Gen 4:5-9). This sorrow will trigger depression and all types of negative feelings. It can end up in hardening our heart, despair and empowering sin in us even more because in our heart we have chosen not to trust in God’s ability to deliver and save us. We have rejected His grace. This sorrow remains with us and brings no emotional resolution

Judas is an extreme example of this type of sorrow. He was truly sorrowful unto death (Mt 27:5).

Prayer of Faith

I thank you Father that as I keep trusting in You  and keep my heart open to Your direction, I can resolve all my mistakes and can receive Your forgiveness. As I receive Your love and I love You back, I also remain open to your correction. I don’t need nor want to hide from You. I want You to show me my sins so that I can repent and walk in Your righteousness. Open my eyes so that I can see and my ears that I can hear your voice. My heart seeks after You.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!

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© 2013 – 2019, Pastor Maurizio. All rights reserved.

About Pastor Maurizio

Maurizio Mingardi, in 1972, had an encounter with God that totally changed his life. From a scientist doing research in Quantum Mechanics and an atheist, Maurizio became a believer and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Then a spiritual journey began. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and later started Mount Zion Church of the Firstborn in Ottawa, Ontario. Maurizio has been in the ministry for more than 30 years and is presently the Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Church. He has also filled a number of executive positions in public and religious organizations. He has been elected President of the Evangelical Church Alliance Ministerial Fellowship of Canada. His goal is to help people to know God, discover and use their gifts and fulfill their destiny.
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5 Responses to Trusting in God – Worldly and Godly Sorrow

  1. Liliane6600 says:

    Today’s reading have caused me to look into my heart. Before I got up, I prayed to God, repented of glutony (yes, glutony or the senseless emotional eating — for any and all emotions!) and asked for His strength in overcoming this. After reading the post, I question myself — what was the focus of my asking for forgiveness? Is it really that glutony is a sin and by it I displease God and am sorry for this because I love God and I don’t want to displease Him?… OR that likely (“likely” because I’m avoiding the scale) my weight is creeping up these last few days, I can see that it could continue to do so as it has so many times in my life, and if this is the case, then my sorrow is of the wrong type, related to my ego.

    I’d like to say that it`s a bit of both! But that would be dishonest. I am tempted to say that this sin of “glutony” is not so big, there are far more serious sins, but my heart tells me that again, that`s fooling myself. Big or small or “in-between”, it doesn’t matter what the sin is, what matters is the focus of my repentance.

    I can only say that the positive outcome of all this is the realization that my heart needs to be purified. Time to pray, repent and re-establish my relationship with the Lord. Praise God for His grace!

  2. PeterCard says:

    I was raised a Catholic and part of that required going to church Saturday night to confess my sins to the priest. I would prepare the same 3 or 4 sins I was going tell the priest. I would put on the religious mask and look and sound like I was really sorry for fighting with my sisters or brother whatever the sin was. The sorrow was fake. It was superficial. Inside me I knew nothing had changed and the same sins showed up every week. It was a worldly sorrow with no power to change. Many years later when I was born again I saw my sins in a totally different light. I wanted to repent and change and I knew that I was forgiven by God and trusted in Him that he gave me the power to stay free.

  3. Liliane6600 says:

    I experienced the same thing Peter, growing up. We did not know any better. Having a true relationship with God changes everything.

  4. Robyn says:

    I have read 2 Cor 7. Thank you Pastor for your discussion on “Worldly Sorrow Produces Guilt and Depression”. It helps me understand where I am/have been spiritually, but not the process of moving on from that. So far, I am in the “letting go of what bothers me” stage. Though I know full well, just forgetting about it does not do any good.

    • Pastor Maurizio says:

      There is a difference between forgetting and letting go. You let go of the negative feelings and forgive, but you don’t need to forget.

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