Good Grief

Life is full of emotional pot-holes. Any substantive conversation between two authentic people will inevitably touch on the pains of grief. But can that grief ever fade or be used for something good? Well as much as the memory of missed opportunities and bad decisions is troubling, it's the only vehicle to true life. Bad things happen, sin will leave it's scars, but the grace of God can cause our grief to vanish. When we stare grief in the face we have a choice to make. We can learn from grief, but we must never live in grief. We can be transformed by grief, but we never have to die with it.

Grief holds the potential to transform us. And all future moments of grief have the potential to be a brick of gold that God uses to build us up. Grief responded to rightly, is the stuff that makes us spiritually rich and strong. The choice is so clear that one of Christ's earliest followers captured the essence of it in one sentence. "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death." When the choice is between life and death, there's only one real question. How do we live?

So here we go: Pin point one area of grief in your life. Now we have a choice. Will we sift the grief through a "worldly" screen or a "godly" screen?

The worldly screen is characterized by blame. It's unwilling to consider what there is to own personally. The worldly grid paints us as a victim with no need to consider how we're missing the mark. Worldly grief walks away from the grace of God convinced of it's rightness, even as it walks to its death.

But as long as you have breath, you watch grief do something amazing. Godly grief is willing to face the truth of both what's out there and what's in here. It can handle both receiving ugly stuff from others and acknowledging the ugly things in our own life. Godly grief humbly turns in repentance to the grace of God and walks firmly on the path of life. There is a good grief with no regrets. It's from a good God with a lot of grace.

II Corinthians 7:10