The movie “Tommy Boy” has a classic scene in it where Chris Farley and David Spade’s co-worker characters are sitting across from each other in a diner booth after getting in a fight outside. The fight ends with David Spade’s character hitting and knocking out Chris Farley’s character with a wood 2×4. Later, as they sit across from each other in the diner booth, in the background the song “I’m Sorry” by Brenda Lee is playing. Below is the clip from the movie.
Oddly enough, this scene came in to my head as I was thinking about sorrow as written about by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 7:10. He writes
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
The scene from the movie certainly is an extreme illustration of worldly sorrow. Two people hurting each other and then sitting across from each other trying to figure out how to say “I’m sorry”. Two people trying to figure out how to bury or reduce their sorrow. Notice, they never actually apologize to each other! Worldly sorrow comes out of regrets, disappointments, bad decisions, hurtful words, betrayal etc. It will never be completely erased or forgotten. It is a cycle that will continue on as long as humans are in the world. Worldly sorrow won’t bring a person to life spiritually no matter how much they work on mending or improving their relationships.
On the other hand, Godly sorrow leads to spiritual growth and salvation. To some, Godly sorrow may sound like a negative reaction but nothing could be more positive and life giving. Godly sorrow is a realization that we are sinners who need to be saved by a Savior (Jesus). It is a realization that we have lived lives not focused on serving God or God’s will for our lives. It is saying I’m sorry to God. This realization leads to repentance from our worldly ways and ultimately to salvation which “leaves no regret”. It leads to life everlasting and freedom from the bonds of worldly sorrow. What a precious gift of grace . . . given without a 2×4!
See you on the third floor!