Sometimes sorrow clouds your heart and you don’t know where it comes from. It seems that everything is in place: house is OK, everything is good in the family or relatives, the job situation is fine, health is good, but a certain type of unknown sorrow clouds your heart. What is it?
Apostle Paul in his 2nd letter to Corinthians talks about two types of sorrows. They are:
- Godly Sorrow
- Worldly Sorrow
Godly sorrow is a good one. It is useful and leads to repentance. Godly sorrow clouds your heart and nourishes your soul when you remember your sins. When you remember your wrong-doings and feel very sorry for them it’s a sorrowful feeling. It can be that you will have the Godly sorrow when your heart is genuinely filled with sorrow not only for your sins, but also for the sins of other people. You feel the sorrow of knowing how people’s sins (including yours) saddens our heavenly Father.
Godly Sorrow Nourishes The Soul and Turns to Joy
This ‘godly sorrow’ nourishes the soul through the hope engendered by repentance, and it is mingled with joy. That is why it makes us obedient and eager for every good work: accessible, humble, gentle, forbearing and patient in enduring all the suffering or tribulation God may send us. Possession of these qualities shows that a man enjoys the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, faith, self-control
(cf. Gal. 5:11). – St. John Cassian, “On The Eight Vices”
God turns this type of sorrow to eventual joy. Apostle Paul, himself says about this joy in 2nd Corinthians 6:10, when he writes “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” When you repent and accept Jesus as your Lord, his joy and peace fills your heart. The godly sadness turns into joy.
Worldly Sorrow Can Lead To Spiritual Death
St. Paul writes that the “worldly sorrow,” on the other hand, produces death (2 Corinth. 6:10). This is very dangerous and is the same sorrow that comes to those who enter through the wide gate and walk through the wide path (Matt. 7:13). Our Lord Jesus Christ warned about this destruction, saying “wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Beware of this path. It is wide, it leads to destruction and, what is interesting, many people enter through it. Therefore, don’t tell yourself that since most people are doing something you should do it too. If it’s against the will of God, it will lead to eventual destruction.
What To Do in Worldly Sorrow
When worldly sorrow clouds your heart, turn to the Lord and remember your wrong-doings. Do not say you are righteous. It is spiritual blindness. We all sin. Look inside your heart and repent for your sins. Know that salvation is not a one-time experience. Repent for your wrongdoings. If you don’t see your sins, ask the Lord to help you to see your sins and to see the things for which you must repent. These can be even small things, but they will grow to bigger sins if you don’t stop them by turning to Jesus as soon as you see them in you. Then you worldly sorrow will turn into godly sorrow and through repentance it will lead to joy.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.