4.22.10 Thursday Insights from Amy Otto

Another challenging and inspiring GPS today!

“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..” ~2 Corinthians 7:11(NIV)

According to the GPS, counselor Bruce Narramore calls godly sorrow “constructive sorrow.” As I read 2 Corinthians 7:11, I can understand what he means by “constructive sorrow”. It is like constructive criticism; something we don’t want to hear but need to hear to improve ourselves. In the case of godly sorrow we are moved to make changes, get back on track and close the gap we have, sometimes unintentionally, built between us and God.

I also understand worldly sorrow and its influence in my life. World sorrow causes me to hold on to guilt and shame – to continually punish myself. The problem with worldly sorrow is it stops me from moving forward and healing. Pastor Steven Blair once said to me, “We all have things we are ashamed of, issues with ourselves that we try to hide locked up in ourselves. But when we can bring them out and let them sit in the living room of our hearts with us for the world to see, then we can heal and grow.”

Through others, situations, and our hearts God convicts us and helps us turn around and get back on the path. When we listen and follow, our relationship with him grows, our energy and excitement is re-ignited for Him. We look back and see growth and progress instead of shame and guilt. We recognize God’s work in our lives.

Amy Otto serves on the Student Ministries staff at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.