For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:10
A British geologist, Sir Charles Lyell, first used the phrase “mind over matter” in 1863 while writing about the development of the animal mind throughout history. Today, that phrase is often used to describe elevating reason and will over emotions in stressful situations.
Nowhere is that more important in the life of a Christian than in the wake of sinful choices and behaviors. Wallowing in guilt and shame over sin needs to be replaced by the truth of God’s love and forgiveness. Take King David, for instance. After his sin of adultery, God’s judgment was the death of David’s infant son. For a week, David fasted and prayed that God would spare the child. But when the child died, David’s grieving stopped. He accepted God’s judgment and forgiveness; he knew that further grief and groveling were pointless.
The apostle Paul detailed two kinds of sorrow: godly sorrow that leads to repentance, and worldly sorrow that leads to death. Let your grief over sin lead you to repentance and to the love of God in Christ (1 John 1:9).
Godly sorrow is a gift from God. No hand but a divine hand can make the heart soft and tender under the sight and sense of sin.