Remix: Student Devotionals

Time with God - Week 2, Day 3

Day 3 - I’m So Sorry (Godly Sorrow/Repentance)

Have you ever had someone come up to you and say they were sorry for hurting you or saying something behind your back, but in your gut, you felt like they weren’t sincere?

In High School, I was dating this girl named Kathy, who was in college at the time. I know, I know. I was dating an older woman. So, we had decided when she left for school that we would date other people. No problem, I thought. She is the one for me, and if she has to date a few other inferior guys to figure that out, well, I’ll survive. The only problem with our situation was that Kathy had a way of throwing these other guys that she dated in my face. When I would call her on the phone, she would tell me what she and Bob did or what Alan studied with her. Like I cared! Deep down, I knew that she knew she was hurting me, but I also knew she didn’t care. How’d I know that? Because every time she got done telling me how much fun she was having with Jim, she then would say, “I hope you’re not upset about this, are you? You know I would never want to hurt you or what we have.” Sure you don’t, Kathy! She did this to me over and over and let me agonize every time. It was clear she didn’t truly care about me. And it definitely wasn’t true love. But I stuck with it, hoping she would come to her senses. She never did.

In the same way Kathy killed me with her words and actions, we hurt God when we don’t do serious business with Him about our sin. The Bible says that worldly sorrow brings about death, but Godly sorrow brings about repentance. Let me break this down for you.

  • Worldly sorrow asks God to excuse us for our sin. Godly sorrow asks God to forgive us for our sin.
  • Worldly sorrow is a waste of time; Godly sorrow is right on time.
  • Worldly sorrow brings about a hardened heart and spiritual death.
  • Godly sorrow brings about a soft heart and spiritual life.
  • Worldly sorrow brings no change in one’s life. Godly sorry brings about a changed life. Translation: You stop doing that which was wrong.

Kathy was playing games with me. She wasn’t sincere with the words she was saying. In similar ways, we sometimes play games with God. We tell God we are so sorry, and then we turn around and do it all over again and say, “Gee God, I hope You’re not upset with me. You know I would never want to hurt You.” (Right!)

What happens when we don’t repent with Godly sorrow:

  • Our sin is always before us.
  • We lose communication with God.
  • We feel dirty, and our self-worth goes down.
  • We lose the joy of our salvation.

How do I know if I have genuinely repented with Godly sorrow? Three ways:

  1. A change in action reveals Godly sorrow.
    You don’t continue to do the same sin over and over again. If you are truly sorry for what you have done, you stay away from the things that bring you down and hurt God.
  2. Godly sorrow is revealed by a change in attitude. You see the sin the way God sees the sin. You begin to hate that which you have done, and your brain warns you about the sin every time it comes back up in your mind.
  3. Godly sorrow brings about a change in atmosphere. You don’t keep going to the same places that got you in trouble. You don’t continue to hang out with the people who brought you down.

In your relationship with God, when you confess your sin, are you sincere or insincere?

I waited for Kathy to come around for three months before I finally gave up on her. Everyday hurt worse than the day before. People said I was stupid to put up with it because she was intentionally hurting me. That’s what is so amazing about God. Even when we are insincere to Him, even when we hurt Him worse day after day, He never gives up. He patiently waits. Even when Satan tells Him that He is stupid to put up with it because we intentionally hurt Him, He still hangs on. I think He has suffered enough, don’t you? Are you playing games with God about your sin? Think about these things today.

Time Out

1. True repentance always results in a change of behavior and actions. Look up Luke 19:1-10 and answer the following questions:

a. Who is the story about?

b. What was the proof of this person’s change of behavior?

2. Check out Luke 15:11-32.

a. Who is this story about?

b. How do we know his repentance was sincere?

3. When John the Baptist saw the crowds and Pharisees coming, what was his warning to them? (Matthew 3:7-12)

4. What is the evidence of true repentance?

5. Have you ever repented of your sins, and as a result, there was a change of behavior in your life? Are you sincere or insincere about the sin in your life?

You can’t fool God. He knows the heart. If you haven’t taken your sin seriously and repented (turned away from it), do some business with God now. Worldly sorrow is useless. Think about these things today!


James 5:16b, The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.