Pain Leading to RepentanceTim Savage
8I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while.9Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 2 Corinthians 7
Paul sent a letter to the Corinthians that scolded and chastised them. I’m not sure if that was 1 Corinthians or another letter, but it was harsh enough to grieve them. In this time of political correctness and avoiding confrontation at any cost I need to be able to sometimes speak sternly, openly and honestly with the goal of repentance. It hurts to get scolded, I don’t like it and I don’t know anyone who does, but in order to get my full attention I might need sharp words like a slap in the face. Now, mind you, this is the exception, a rare occurrence, but if I’m headed down the wrong road it might be what is needed to turn me around. Conversely, I might need to be the one scolding – my kids, my friends, co-workers – I might have to bring the heat in order to turn someone else around. If short-term pain brings long-term change, then it’s worth it.
Confrontation and severe words don’t come easy for me. I don’t speak my mind, I edit everything and filter what I say, but, this morning, I am reminded that, for my sake and the sake of others, I must do whatever it takes to set myself and others on the right path. If that means causing pain, then so be it. That’s the kind of sorrow God wants for us all, sorrow that causes repentance. I must not live to avoid confrontation, but instead use it wisely and appropriately, and hopefully sparingly, for God’s good.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this lesson that open my eyes to being a better parent, leader and friend. Please grant me wisdom and discernment, strength and courage to lead well.
In Jesus name,