8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern,what readiness to see justice done.At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. — 2 Cor. 7:8-11 NIV
In his letters to the church at Corinth, Paul had admonished them to take corrective action against those members that were not living a Christian lifestyle They were participating in sexual sins and not showing proper respect when taking communion. He wanted the church to be a shining light in a dark city. Although, he spoke to them firmly, it was because he loved them as his own children and wanted to see them maturing in the faith. When we have erred, we need to accept correction from those who love us and want us to be stronger Christians. If we feel guilty and condemned, we should remember that condemnation comes from satan, not from the Lord. Condemnation is “worldy” sorrow that leads to death. Conviction is “godly” sorrow that leads to repentance and life. When we feel convicted of an error, we ask God for His forgiveness. We all fall down at times, but God is waiting to pick us up and restore us to Himself. It just requires us being honest with ourselves and with Him..
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. — 1 John 1:8-10 NIV
Once we have accepted God’s forgiveness for our sins, we need to forgive ourselves and move on. We must never allow satan to use past sins to condemn us. This only leads to pain and confusion. Rejoice in the freedom that comes with confession and forgiveness and live in the truth of God’s Word.