2 Corinthians 7:10 - Two Kinds of Sorrow: Which Are You Experiencing?

2Co.7:10: Two Kinds of  Sorrow: Which Are You Experiencing?

2 Cor 7:10 (KJV)  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to
salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh

2 Cor 7:10 (NIV)  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to
salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.


Proper sorrow brought repentance without regret (7:8-10) that
was centered on God, not self. [New Bible Companion]

A general statement regarding repentance: "Being sorry in the
way God wants makes a person change his heart and life. This leads
to salvation, and we cannot be sorry for that.  (UBS Translator
Handbook Series)


Godly sorrow . . . worldly sorrow: The former manifests itself
by repentance and the experience of divine grace; the latter brings
death because, instead of being God-centered sorrow over the
wickedness of sin, it is self-centered sorrow over the painful consequences
of sin. [NIV SB]

Paul teaches here the important doctrine of repentance. He
states that there is a vast difference between repentance and regret.
Repentance is from God and is a sorrow that draws people closer to God and
brings them to a place of confessing and forsaking sin. Regret is from
the world; its drives people away from God and into the hand of
Satan. For example, Peter showed repentance and was forgiven; Judas
showed regret and took his own life. Godly sorrow is good; it leads to
life. But the sorrow of the world leads to death. Some people commit
suicide because they know nothing of true repentance and the gracious
forgiveness that God shares with those who call upon Him in faith. [Wiersbe
Expository Outlines]

Verse 10 describes two ways of reacting to pain or sorrow. God's
way ("godly sorrow" or sorrow "as God intended," kata theon, vv. 9,
10, 11) invariably produces a change of heart and this repentance
"leads to salvation" and therefore gives no cause for regret. Sorrow
borne in a worldly way (tou kosmou), on the other hand, does not lead
to repentance but has the deadly effect of producing resentment or
bitterness. What makes suffering remedial is not the actual experience of it
but the reaction to it; a "godly" or positive reaction brings
blessing, a "worldly" or negative reaction causes harm. [Expositors Bible

The word translated "sorrow" is lupe in each case. This Greek
word, also rendered "grief' and "pain" in the NT, is a broad term
encompassing all sorts of physical and emotional distress. Interestingly, the
translators of the Septuagint used it to translate some 13 different Hebrew
terms which display subtle shades of meaning not found in the Greek.
Here, however, Paul's emphasis is on whether a person's response
to lupe is "godly" or worldly." When sorrow leads to
repentance--that change of heart and mind that sets us on the path leading to
salvation--that sorrow falls into the category of "godly." It is important here
to remember that "salvation" is frequently used in the sense of
present deliverance. Here Paul's point is that repentance reverses our
rush toward disaster, and redeems the situation so that we are
delivered from the consequences associated with the earlier, wrong choices
we made.
On the other hand sorrow is worldly if all it produces is grief,
or even a recognition that we've been wrong--without leading to
Sorrow, grief, or pain, however we take lupe here, is God's gift
to us. Repentance signifies our acceptance of it as a gift, and
transforms sorrow into something that benefits us despite the hurt. [Victor
Bible Background Commentary]


Godly sorrow produces repentance: True sorrow for sins leads to
a change of mind and a turning to God. Since repentance means
turning to God, who is the Savior, repentance results in spiritual
deliverance, or salvation (see 6:2). [Nelson SB]

Godly sorrow. This is the sorrow that is wrought in the heart of
the believer by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When the believer
does wrong or falls short, the Holy Spirit is grieved (Ephes. 4:30).
His work is quenched (1 Thes. 5:19). His ministry of making the
believer like Jesus is hindered and hampered. So He begins His convicting
work. Under the weight of conviction the believer's heart is thereby
led to repent. The believer changes his mind and turns his behavior
around to what it should be (cp. Peter, Matthew 26:75). Godly sorrow
always leads to repentance. [Preacher's  Outline & Sermon Bible]

Godly sorrow. This is not sorrow at being found out or in
anticipation of being punished. It is genuine sorrow for sin, repentance of
it, separation from it, and determination henceforth to resist, by
the grace of Christ, the temptation that led to it (see on Matt.
5:3; 1 John 1:9). Embarrassment occasioned by exposure, fear of the
possibility of exposure, injured pride, or even profound regret over what
has happened--none of this is "godly sorrow." In "godly sorrow" there
is recognition and admission that one has wronged God and his
fellow men, adequate effort to right the wrong, and a reorientation of
the life with the purpose of avoiding a repetition of the same
mistakes. This entire process is possible only by virtue of the grace of
Christ, made operative in the mind and the life by the Holy Spirit. [SDA

Repentance and salvation are the fruit of godly sorrow over our
sins. [Disciple SB]


Sorrow of the world. Worldly sorrow consists of regret for the
consequences of the sin rather than for the sin itself, and at being
discredited before the world and worldly friends (1 Sam. 15:30). Worldly
sorrow plays only upon the surface of the problem. It mounts no higher
than the man himself, and his own feelings. It leads to future regret
and to deeper distress. It fills the mind with discontent, the heart
with resentment and chagrin. It embitters and shortens life. A person
who truly repents will never regret having done so. Indeed, the
"sorrow of the world" often compounds misery by goading a man into
further folly. It leads to ruin and to death (Gen. 4:12; 1 Sam. 31:3-6;
2 Sam. 17:23; Matt. 27:3-5). [SDA Commentary]

[Worketh death] it tends to break the spirit, to destroy the
peace, and to mar the happiness.... it often leads to death itself. The
spirit is broken, and the heart pines away under the influence of the
unalleviated sorrow; or under its influence people often lay violent hands on
themselves and take their lives. Life is often closed under the influence
of such sorrow..... There is no looking to God; no looking for
pardon. It produces murmuring, repining, complaining, fretfulness
against God, (Barnes' Notes)

"The sorrow of the world works death" (2 Cor. 7:10). It works
death in two ways:
*	It eats a man up with guilt and remorse, depression and
despair, defeat and inactivity (cp. Judas, Matthew 27:3-5).
*	It embitters a man in rebellion and resentment against the
consequences and punishment of sin (cp. Esau, Hebrews 12:16-17). [Preacher's
Outline & Sermon Bible]

Sin and irresponsibility cause regret and disappointment, guilt,
and remorse. In short, sin causes sorrow. But sorrow has no healing
power by itself. Only repentance, a change of mind or a turn of life,
can heal the heart of man [Preacher's  Outline & Sermon Bible]


Everywhere Jesus went He proclaimed the twofold message of
repentance and faith in God (Mar.1:15).  The faith He proclaimed was not
mere mental assent, but the kind of faith that produces change in
people's lives. There is no such thing as biblical faith that does not
produce obedience...
It is important to note that the Bible identifies both a true
and a false repentance.  2Cor.7:10 says, "Godly grief produces a
repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief
produces death."  Godly grief is true repentance, and true repentance is
more than contrition.  A person may be sorrowful over his sins yet
unrepentant because he is sorrowing for the wrong reasons.  Instead of
sorrowing because his sins have hurt and disappointed God, he may just
feel bad because his sins have been personally painful, stressful, or
costly, or because his sins have been found out.  If there is no change
in character, there has been no true repentance....
The results of false repentance are seen everywhere in the
church.  Hearts are unbroken.  Sin is covered up... And many professing
Christians do not walk in the light with God and one another.  The fruit of
true repentance is a change of mind, heart, and behavior. Floyd
McClung; [Time with God SB]

Many people are sorry only for the effects of their sins or for
being caught. In the original Greek, "sorrow without repentance"
literally means "the sorrow of the world." When people do not channel
their grief over their behavior into life-changing actions, it is
unproductive grief. It leads to self-pity. But godly sorrow is practical and
action-oriented. When a person realizes what he or she has done wrong, that
person should not only regret the error but also turn back to God. Only
God can empower people to change their ways. Only God can save
people from the way sin imprisons them and paralyzes them. Only God can
help us turn away from sin and seek salvation.
Compare the stories of Peter and Judas. Both handled the events
surrounding Jesus' death in a wrong way. Judas brazenly betrayed Jesus with
a kiss (Mark 14:43-46). Peter denied knowing Jesus three different
times (John 18:15-27). Both were overcome with grief over their
actions (Matt 26:75; 27:3). Although Peter was distraught, he had the
humility and the courage to admit his failure, reform his behavior, and
rededicate his life to Jesus' cause (see John 21:15-19). In contrast, Judas
let his remorse eat at his soul. Eventually overcome by guilt, he
committed suicide. Judas wasn't able to learn from his sin and repent. He
didn't submit his sins to Christ..... He was too proud to cry out for
salvation, so his stubbornness led to death. (Life Application Commentary)

There are too many confessions like that of Pharaoh when he was
suffering the judgments of God. He acknowledged his sin in order to escape
further punishment, but returned to his defiance of heaven as soon as
the plagues were stayed. Balaam's confession was of a similar
character. Terrified by the angel standing in his pathway with drawn sword,
he acknowledged his guilt, lest he should lose his life. There was
no genuine repentance for sin, no contrition, no conversion of
purpose, no abhorrence of evil, and no worth or virtue in his confession.
Judas Iscariot, after betraying his Lord, returned to the priests,
exclaiming: "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." But
his confession was not of such a character as would commend him to
the mercy of God. It was forced from his guilty soul by an awful
sense of condemnation and a fearful looking for of judgment. The
consequences that were to result to him drew forth this acknowledgment of his
great sin. There was no deep, heartbreaking grief in his soul that he
had delivered the Son of God to be mocked, scourged, and crucified;
that he had betrayed the Holy One of Israel into the hands of wicked
and unscrupulous men. His confession was only prompted by a selfish
and darkened heart.
After Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, they
were filled with a sense of shame and terror. At first their only
thought was how to excuse their sin before God and escape the dreaded
sentence of death. When the Lord inquired concerning their sin, Adam
replied, laying the guilt partly upon God and partly upon his companion:
"The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree,
and I did eat." The woman put the blame upon the serpent, saying:
"The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.' Why did You make the
serpent? Why did You suffer him to come into Eden?" These were the
questions implied in her excuse for her sin, thus charging God with the
responsibility of their fall. The spirit of self-justification originated in
the father of lies and has been exhibited by all the sons and
daughters of Adam. Confessions of this order are not inspired by the
divine Spirit and will not be acceptable before God. True repentance
will lead a man to bear his guilt himself and acknowledge it without
deception or hypocrisy. Like the poor publican, not lifting up so much as
his eyes unto heaven, he will smite upon his breast, and cry, "God
be merciful to me a sinner;" and those who do acknowledge their
guilt will be justified; for Jesus will plead His blood in behalf of
the repentant soul. 5T636-8

No man can empty himself of self.  We can only consent for
Christ to accomplish the work.  Then the language of the soul will be,
Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it.  It is Thy property. Keep
it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee.  Save me in spite of
myself, my weak, unchristlike self.  Mold me, fashion me, raise me into
a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can
flow through my soul.  COL159

The foundation of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking,
a person cannot repent when he chooses-repentance is a gift of
God. If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, you
allow yourself to remain in sin. Examine yourself to see if you have
forgotten how to be truly repentant. [In His Time; My Utmost For His

Genuine, spiritual mourning for sin is the work of the Spirit of
God... penitence never shows itself in sinners except divine grace
works it in them. If thou hast one particle of real hatred for sin,
God must have given it thee,... True repentance has a distinct
reference to the Saviour.... True sorrow for sin is eminently practical. No
man may say he hates sin, if he lives in it. Repentance makes us see
the evil of sin, not merely as a theory, but experimentally--as a
burnt child dreads fire. We shall be as much afraid of it, as a man
who has lately been stopped and robbed is afraid of the thief upon
the highway; and we shall shun it--shun it in everything--not in great
things only, but in little things, as men shun little vipers as well as
great snakes.... each night we shall close the day with painful
confessions of shortcoming, and each morning awaken with anxious prayers,
that this day God would hold us up that we may not sin against him....
Sincere repentance is continual. Believers repent until their dying day...
Every other sorrow yields to time, but this dear sorrow grows with our
growth, Morning and Evening by Charles H Spurgeon

The world's sorrow is an "I'm sorry I got caught" kind of
sorrow. The individual is sorry for himself, and the consequences he now
has to pay. Godly sorrow is grief about the original act, and
repentance--a commitment to turn from wrongdoing. We need to be careful when
someone says with tears, "I'm sorry." If they're crying because they're
sorry for themselves, don't expect a change. If they're weeping
because they feel grief over what they did, there's hope. [The 365-Day
Devotional Commentary]

I'm often asked, "How can I tell the difference between the
devil's accusations and the Holy Spirit's conviction?" Every Christians
is faced with the choice of walking by the Spirit or by the flesh
on a daily basis. The moment you choose to walk according to the
flesh, the Holy Spirit brings conviction because what you have just
chosen to do is not compatible with who you really are. If you continue
in the flesh, you will feel the sorrow of conviction.
"How do I know which kind of sorrow I'm experiencing?" you may
ask. "The devil's accusation and the Spirit's conviction both make me
feel sorrowful." Determine whether your feelings reflect thoughts of
truth or error, and you will identify their source. Do you feel
guilty, worthless, stupid, or inept? That's a sorrow provoked by
accusation because those feelings don't reflect truth. Judicially, you are
no longer guilty; you have been justified through your faith in
Christ, and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. You
are not worthless; Jesus gave His life for you. You are not stupid
or inept; you can do all things through Christ. When you find lies
lurking beneath your feelings of sorrow--especially if your feelings
persistently drive you into the ground--you are being falsely accused. To
disarm the sorrow of accusation you must submit yourself to God and
resist the devil and his lies.
But if you are sorrowful because your behavior doesn't reflect
your true identity in Christ, that's the sorrow according to the will
of God which is designed to produce repentance. It's the Holy
Spirit calling you to admit on the basis of 1 John 1:9, "Dear Lord, I
was wrong." As soon as you confess and repent, God says, "I'm glad
you shared that with Me. You're cleansed; now get on with life." And
you walk away from that confrontation free. The sorrow is gone, and
you have a positive new resolve to obey God in the area of your
failure. by Neil Anderson in Daily in Christ.


There is a difference between loathing yourself and loathing
your actions.  [Teachers Adult SS Quarterly, 6/15/91, p.135]


Paul revealed the results of proper sorrow (7:11-13). [New Bible

In the next verse Paul arranges seven nouns in ascensive order
to describe the explosive nature of their repentance. [Wycliffe
Bible Commentary re vs 11]
1.	Earnest
2.	Eager to bury sin
3.	Disgust with sin
4.	Fearful of relapse
5.	Desire for help
6.	Zeal to right the wrong
7.	Ready for punishment


Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 3:19 (KJV) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your
sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from
the presence of the Lord;

Jeremiah 31:9 (NIV) They will come with weeping; they will pray
as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a
level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's father,
and Ephraim is my firstborn son.