Introduction ~ Guilt can be good or bad. There exists two very different kinds of guilt. Genuine guilt can be very useful and cause meaningful and intentional change. On the other hand false guilt is often destructive.
Genuine guilt: True guilt is based on realizing we have fallen short of God’s standards and expectations for us.
False guilt: Worldly guilt is based on peer pressure or societies norms and expectations.
Key Passage ~ “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (2 Corinthians 7:9-11).
Results ~ The results of these two kinds of guilt are significantly different.
False guilt: False guilt (worldly regret) sometimes produces temporary change—sometimes worthwhile change. However, it is self-focused typically based on wanting to feel better about ourselves.
Genuine guilt: True guilt (Godly sorrow) usually causes a focus on correcting our lifestyle choices—many times permanently.
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