I 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. Now 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. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right. My purpose, then, was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could see for yourselves how loyal you are to us.2 Corinthians 7:8-12
Paul continues on the personal issues between him and the Corinthians for a while longer. He says, “I am sad and glad.” “I am sorry and not sorry.” I was sorry to send the letter at first because it was painful. Both for Paul and for them. But having done it he was not sorry. He did not want to inflict pain on them but he was glad for the results that the “severe letter” or the “painful letter” caused. The end result was that the Corinthians repented and changed their ways which led to a restoration of the relationship. Godly sorrow leads to repentance, which leads us away from sin. As compared with worldly sorrow from which there is no repentance resulting in us still being trapped in sin which results in spiritual death.
The end result of Paul’s severe letter is that it caused the Corinthians to want to clear themselves. It appears also to have triggered a response in them to make things right with Paul. They end up longing to see him again. Paul wasn’t looking to assign blame. He merely wanted them to come back to the Lord and repent of what they had been doing. Paul was willing to call them on what they were doing. Despite the fact that Paul felt sorry for sending the severe letter he didn’t let that stop him from doing what would ultimately mean their salvation. Don’t let issues of your feelings or other people’s feelings be that which stops you from winning them to Christ and keeping them from spiritual death. That after all is the reason for you being an ambassador for Christ, that you might represent your King and tell people.
For those who are supposedly Christian the hard questions have to be addressed and the issues dealt with so they may grow in Christ-likeness. Of course it may well mean hard letters have to be written or difficult phone calls or sensitive visits made. That goes with the territory. We can’t ignore the hard stuff just because it is hard. We address it because we love the person involved and want to see them whole and walking in holiness.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.Anon
Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.Anon
What other people think of you is none of your business.Anon
Time heals almost everything. Give time time.Anon