"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV)
My heart is stirred today to say it's time to quit.
Not a relationship.
But quit being critical of someone I love very much. The crazy thing is, I'm not a critical person. But I've found myself slipping into a pattern of giving this person what they give me.
So, I've started criticizing back. A lot.
And I'm feeling very convicted this morning that I need to model a different attitude and approach to life.
Last month, my pastor said something very convicting in his sermon, "Jesus didn't die so we'd be sorry. He died and then He was resurrected so we'd be changed."
There is a big difference between being sorry and being changed.
To be sorry means to feel bad. It's a temporary little prick of the heart.
But change only comes when we're repentant. Being repentant is a deeper conviction to actually correct and transform our behavior—our habit—our wrong tendency.
In 2 Corinthians 7:10 we learn, "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow leads to death." Leaves no regret—those are powerful words.
I want to live a life of no regrets.
And I think today is a really good day to address something that could lead to a big ol' pile of regret.
So, each time I'm feeling the need to criticize I'm going to see it as a call to flip my words to encouragement.
I might still need to address some issues with this person but I will do it by pointing out their strengths and the responsibilities that come with those strengths rather than constantly focusing on their weaknesses.
For example, "You are an influencer! Have you noticed when you are happy others are happy but when you are negative it really affects those around you? I need your help to keep things positive today. Do you think you can accept this leadership role? How can you be a positive influence in this situation?"
I'm not naive enough to think this will be easy. I will need grace. They will need grace. But at least if I'm aware of how I need to change, change can be set in motion.
Are you up for quitting some old habit, negative attitude, or wrong tendency? I know I am. The next time we're presented with an opportunity, let's remember the words of my pastor, "Jesus didn't die so we'd be sorry. He died and then He was resurrected so we'd be changed."
Dear Lord, I'm ready to quit. Instead of critical words, I want to speak kind and encouraging ones. Will You please help me make this shift? In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
There is a big difference between being sorry and being changed. To be sorry means to feel bad. It's a temporary little prick of the heart. But change only comes when we're repentant.
Are you up for quitting an old habit? Here's a good one to start with: each time you feel the need to criticize, flip your words to encouragement.
Proverbs 16:24, "Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." (ESV)