His tears revealed the sincerity of his sorrow. My young friend, a member of the youth group I work with, was torn up inside. For years, he had used drugs. Then he began selling them to others. Now, no longer dealing, his heart was broken as he considered the many kids and youth that he turned on to drugs. He saw them sinking into self-destruction and he felt terrible.
We talked about the forgiveness that only God could provide. Some key Scriptures we discussed included 2 Corinthians 7:10, which reads, “The kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation”; also, 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
The young man, a believer in Jesus, repented of his sin done to others and to himself. He then acknowledged that he wanted to forever turn away from using drugs (something he had continued to do). The repentance he displayed is the type that the apostle Paul wrote about to the church at Corinth—a true, spiritual repentance. Paul wrote, “There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
By God’s grace, we don’t have to live in worldly sorrow. It can be devastating (see what Judas did in Matthew 27:3-6). It’s a sorrow that doesn’t lead us to repent but to attempt to deal with issues in our own power—something futile and harmful.
God calls us to repent and turn away from our sin. Doing so will be revealed in our “earnestness,” “concern,” “indignation,” “alarm,” “zeal,” and “readiness” before Him. This turning away is all about doing “everything necessary to make things right” (2 Corinthians 7:11).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 7:1-24
Note what Peter said to a person in need of repentance (Acts 8:22-23). Why is it important for us to turn away from sin in genuine repentance?
What do you need to bring to God in repentance? What does it mean for you to “turn away” from your sin once you’ve confessed it to Him?