IS IT REPENTANCE OR FEAR OF GETTING CAUGHT?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
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“I‘m sorry, Mommy!” Little Jake had been caught red-handed taking cookies from the cookie jar after his mother had told him not to.

Mommy looked him in the eye. “Jake, are you sorry because you hurt Jesus by disobeying me, or are you sorry because you got caught?”

Not one to lie, Jake responded, “I’m sorry because I got caught.”

What about us? When we sin, are we sorry because we have hurt the heart of God, or are we sorry because our sin got us into some kind of trouble? In other words, do we repent out of fear of the personal consequences of our sin, or do we repent out of love for our Heavenly Father Whom we have hurt by our sin? 

There is only one kind of sorrow that pleases God, and that is the sorrow that stems from love for Him, not from fear of personal consequences. David the Psalmist understood this when he penned these words in Psalm 51: 17: ” . . . a broken and contrite heart You, God, will not despise.”

Is our heart broken and contrite because of our sin? Or are we merely crying crocodile tears because we are suffering the negative consequences of our sin?

Human sorrow leads only to more sinning. Godly sorry comes from a broken heart that is aware it has hurt the heart of the Father. Only Godly sorrow is transformational because it stems from love for the Father and not from fear for ourselves. Only Godly sorrow is true repentance.

If you do not have Godly sorrow for your sin, do what I did. I asked God to show me what my sin looks like to Him and how it makes Him feel. When He showed me, I was appalled and understood what He meant when He said in Isaiah 64: 6 that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” 

When we move from fear-based sorrow to love-based sorrow, we will understand what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote that “we are no longer slaves to sin” (Romans 6: 6). Instead, we will have become slaves to our Lord and Lover Whose precious heart we would never want to break.

Now it’s YOUR turn! How would you describe Godly sorrow? Describe a time when you experienced human sorrow or Godly sorrow. Please comment in the box below. Thanks! 

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Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right.

Some of our most popular posts:

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Are You Afraid of Confrontation?

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

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Copyright 2001-2017 by Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. All Rights Reserved. 

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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Copyright 2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

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