I looked down at my speedometer and I was going 57 mph in a 35mph zone. And there was a police car up ahead. You’re going to love what happened next. There’s a lesson in it for all of us.
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I truly had no idea that I was going that fast. I wasn’t in a hurry, just heading out to a meeting. So here’s what happened. I slowed down! Yeah, amazing, right? Then, about a mile or so later, when I actually GOT TO the place along the road where the police were doing radar patrol they had no trouble with my speed because, well, I wasn’t speeding.
Today’s verse says GODLY SORROW BRINGS REPENTANCE THAT LEADS TO SALVATION AND LEAVES NO REGRET, BUT WORLDLY SORROW BRINGS DEATH
When we’re really sorry for something that’s wrong in our lives, we stop doing it! I slowed down because I realized I was breaking the law. In that situation, I made the right choice. If I had waited until the officer stepped into the street and flagged me to the side of the road to slow down, I may have regretted getting the $250 speeding ticket but I would not have been “really sorry” for my offense. There’s a big difference between being sorry about something you’re doing and being sorry that you got caught doing it.
Godly sorrow brings repentance. It occurs when I recognise that where I am is not where I am supposed to be. So I turn and move towards where I am supposed to be. God’s grace can give us strength to overcome the hurtful and harmful things that control us. He encourages us to come to Him and ask Him to take control. Sometimes our sin is like a massive giant, and we don’t know how to fight it. But God does! The lesson of David and Goliath is that God is stronger than the giants in your life. But the time to invite Him in is now. Because if you don’t deal with the giants in your life, they’ll have children. The godly sorrow that brings real repentance will remove sin. God’s desire is to help us conform our lives to His standard. You can’t add in Jesus without subtracting sin. Your change of belief has to lead to a change in behavior.
GODLY SORROW BRINGS REPENTANCE THAT LEADS TO SALVATION AND LEAVES NO REGRET
I’ve never known someone who said, “You know, Bishop, I really wish I were controlled by abusive anger again. Boy, those were the days!” Or, “I sure do miss being addicted to meth.” When God changes your heart and your behavior you don’t miss the sin that was destroying you. The godly sorrow that changes your life from the inside out makes you happy about the change; it doesn’t fill you with regret.
So here’s one final point to consider. Everyone will be sorry for their sin one day. Had I decided to keep speeding, I’d have ended up “sorry” too. But the sorrow of getting caught in your sin won’t lead you to life.
Today is the day of salvation. If you’ve never turned away from your sin and turned to Christ, today’s a great day to do it. And I can make you a promise based upon today’s verse — If you do, you WON’T be sorry.