Open In App

Self-Centered Sorrow

When I was little I was the kid that learned everything the hard way. I wasn’t a bad child, but I was mischievous, and my parents believed wholly that sparing the rod spoils the child. I remember apologizing to my dad on more than one occasion without really meaning it. I wasn’t sorry for what I had done; I just didn’t want a spanking. I asked for forgiveness in hopes of avoiding a consequence, not because I had experienced a change of heart or “learned my lesson.”

In 2 Corinthians 7:10 Paul reminds us what a dangerous place that is to be in. He says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Godly sorrow, or true repentance, allows us to experience the divine grace God has for us. We confess and turn from what we have done because repentance causes heart change. Worldly sorrow isn’t God-centered at all. Instead, it’s self-centered. Rather than being truly repentant for what we have done, we are just concerned about having to deal with the consequences of our sins. We want to avoid the pain of the consequence without actually changing, a behavior that ultimately leads to the death of the full life God has planned for us.


  • Are there behaviors in your life that you need to turn from?
  • When you confess, are you truly repentant or are you trying to avoid consequences?

Like what you just read? Download the NewSpring App for an even better reading experience. You can read, share, and bookmark your favorites quickly and easily from your phone.

Related devotionals

We want you to have a safe experience while using our site.

Unfortunately, there are security risks associated with your browser. To keep you protected we will be discontinuing support to this browser. Please visit for a secure browser update.