Beloved, have you ever experienced great sorrow after hearing a sobering sermon? I sure have. I do quite often actually. It is important that we understand the difference between self condemnation that leads to shame, and scriptural conviction that leads to change.
You see the word of God is sharper than a double edged sword, and it cuts right to the heart. In the book of Acts the phrase "they were cut to the heart" describes how the word of God penetrates the heart of man, and how man often responds in either one of two ways; Godly sorrow that leads to life, or worldy sorrow that leads to death.
Godly sorrow: Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" (Conviction that lead to change.)
Wordly sorrow: Acts 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. (Self condemnation that lead to shame, anger, and even murder.)
Consider Peter, who after denying Jesus experienced great Godly sorrow: Matthew 26:75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.
After which Peter experienced an even greater measure of God's love and mercy when Jesus reinstated him: John 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Consider Judas, who after betraying Jesus experienced great worldy sorrow: Matthew 27:3-4 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
After which Judas hung himself in shame: Matthew 27:5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
Family, examine the origin of the sorrow you (or someone you know) experience when looking into the mirror of God's word, and after recognizing that perhaps you've missed the mark by denying or betraying Jesus (which we all have in some way shape or form.)
Be encouraged and know that for believers there is no condemnation (Rom. 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,)
Be encouraged and know that God corrects those who He love (Prov. 3:12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.)
Be encouraged and know that you are accepted by Jesus, and experience an even greater measure of God's love and mercy as you repent and turn to your loving Father (whose mercies are new every morning) once again (Luke 7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.")
2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings deaTh.