THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 7:11
2 Corinthians 7:11 states, “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.” Verse 11 outlines for us the seven steps of true repentance. True repentance has seven distinctive fruits. The reason why pastoral forbearance can take years is because it often takes years to grow into each of the seven distinctive fruits of true repentance. No one grows into this overnight – it takes time. If we are willing to give ourselves time to grow, then we can accept God’s pastoral love and we can go about the business of maturing. When we love God, we change into His image and His likeness. Worldly sorrow is just being sorry for getting caught. Godly sorrow produces change. Change number one is called diligence. The Greek word for “diligence” is spoo-day and it simply means, ‘to be motivated to change and consistently demonstrate it.’ No matter how often we sin, we demonstrate motivation to change in the process. We must keep moving in the direction of righteousness and work at overcoming. Diligence is the consistent application of effort toward change into Christlikeness. The reason it is first is because it is the clearest picture that someone is willing to honor God’s Word by really working on change. Diligence involves being both intentional and deliberate in our commitment to grow. Diligence demonstrates that God is sowing into good soil, because that soil is going to produce Christlikeness.