Sorrow (sad feelings) is never pleasant. We would much prefer to bring our friends joy, rather than sorrow. However, sorrow is not itself something bad. It is possible to have a right kind of sorrow; even as it is possible to have the wrong kind of joy. Happiness about something evil is bad.
The worst kind of sorrow is like an illness in the mind. It can take away even a personís desire to live. We would not wish anyone to suffer like that. However, in this world, many people do suffer in that manner. As Christians, we can only pray for them and try to help them.
However, there is another kind of sorrow, and it comes from God. God allows that sorrow because it brings about something good in a personís life. For example a person may feel comfortable in life, although he is doing wrong or evil things. In that comfortable state, he may never realise that his actions offend God. So, God allows that person to suffer sorrow for a short time. Because of that sorrow, that person turns from his wrong deeds to serve God properly. So, God has used that sorrow to rescue that person from his wrong or evil life.
Paul refers to that as something which we cannot regret. Of course we regret the sorrow that someone has felt. Paul regretted his letter originally, because it upset the Christians in Corinth. We cannot, however, regret the fact that someone has turned to God. That is never a reason for sorrow; it is a reason for the greatest joy*. That personís sorrow lasted for a short time, but their joy will never end*.
Next part: The churchís decision to obey God (7:11-12)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.