Godly Grief? When Tears are the Way Forward

Tuesday is for Reflection

grief - the voice of grief (Jeremiah Simmons)For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

—2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (ESV)

There is a longing in my heart for grief.

I’m not a masochist. I dislike pain and sorrow as much as anyone else. I have no desire for a grief that leads down to despair and hopelessness. Yet, oh how I long for a grieving that leads to a repenting. I long for a grieving that propels me forward to holiness. 

  • a grieving that turns from sin
  • that yearns for Him who died and rose
  • that creates a passion for the will of God to be done on earth
  • that finds joy in desperate cries for daily bread
  • that leaps to forgive others before they even know that there has been a hurt
  • that remembers the price of my purchase and glories in grace received.

I long to be a better man, husband, leader, teacher, pastor, friend, brother, neighbor and I am deeply suspicious that my heart doesn’t long for any of these things with a passion equal to the task before me.

And that is why I need the body of Christ.  That is why all of us who claim Christ as our Savior need to be connected to the body of which he is the head.  We need one another like fire needs oxygen to burn. We need to pray for one another and care for one another in ways that none of us are always comfortable with but for which all of us have a desperate need. We need one another to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2b) so that we can all help one another stumble toward the cross.  

Let’s do that for one another today, and when tomorrow comes, let’s do it again, and the next day, let’s do it again and again and again so that Jesus becomes more and more of what we reflect to the world and less and less of ourselves.  Inevitably, that will include a bit of grieving along the way. But it is the way forward to Christ.


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