For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:10-11)
Kill The Spider
A man continually sought help to rededicate his life and always prayed the same prayer, “Lord, take the cobwebs out of my life.” His preacher had heard this prayer more times than he cared to remember. Finally, when the man uttered that prayer into the ear of his preacher, the preacher responded with a prayer of his own, “Lord, kill the spider.”
The challenge of sin is recognizing the need to remove temptation and change the behavior. Repentance is not just saying, “I’m sorry” but actively trying to find ways to take away the source of the problem. Godly sorrow brings about repentance because it is a deep emotional reaction to what ungodliness does to the character and conduct of the individual. If the spider is not killed the cobwebs will continue.
There are some challenges in life that will always be present. Paul had a thorn in the flesh that was not removed but he learned how to deal with it. Godly sorrow produces a mind that continually works to lessen the impact of the spider’s web on life with greater victory each day. But this takes effort. It is easy to assume our nature allows us to have a bad temper but as people of God seeking repentance we learn to control and subdue that anger. Lust can be controlled when measured by the grace of God. Lips that lie, gossip, slander, and use foul language can be stopped when the spider is killed. Repentance demands it.
A contrast of attitude and behavior comes with godly sorrow when we clear ourselves of the influences of ungodliness. We are deeply sorry for our actions and we show in our lives the indignation we have to what we have done. Our attitude is one of fear and passionate desire to sin less. Godliness produces a zeal of righteousness to cleanse our minds of all those spiders that infect us. Let us be great spider killers today!
Repentance was perhaps best defined by a small girl: It’s to be sorry enough to quit. (C. H. Kilmer, The New Illustrator, 1945)