HAPPY TO MAKE THEM SAD: People pleasers do not make good authority figures, because the urge to make people like them overpowers their ability to implement discipline when necessary. Although we're currently reading Second Corinthians, it should really be referred to as the third letter, because the letter Paul mentions in v8 comes in between the two that we have in the Bible. It's in this missing middle letter that Paul took the Corinthians to task and demanded their repentance. This, of course, saddened them, and in a sense threatened Paul's entire ministry in Corinth, because they could have easily disassociated themselves from Paul.
But by God's grace they didn't, and Paul was happy to cause them sorrow, because their sorrow led to genuine "repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret (v10)." Chances are that you are in some sort of authoritative role as a parent, teacher, or maybe as an elder in the church. The time will come when you must choose between being popular or bringing Godly discipline. When that time comes, remember 2 Cor. 7.
HEALTHY GUILT: Guilt can be a terribly debilitating thing, which has the capability of crushing people who can't find recovery from it. Yet it can also be a very healthy process, as v11-12 demonstrate. Paul calls guilt 'Godly sorrow.' We try to experience this emotion as a congregation each week as we're called to confess our sins in our morning worship, but as we remind ourselves often, we don't dwell in our guilt to condemn us or make us feel bad, rather it's because healthy guilt brings healing through the forgiveness that comes through Jesus Christ.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God who comforts the downcast (v6)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Become sorrowful about your sins as God has intended (v9)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: