For even though I did grieve you with my letter, I do not regret [it now], though I did regret it; for I see that that letter did pain you, though only for a little while; Yet I am glad now, not because you were pained, but because you were pained into repentance [and so turned back to God]; for you felt a grief such as God meant you to feel, so that in nothing you might suffer loss through us or harm for what we did. 2 Corinthians 7:8-9 [AMP]
Today was a great reminder that tough love can be used by God to lead others to repentance. Paul wrote a ‘Tough Love’ letter to the church at Corinth to expose their sin and hypocrisy. The big attribute here is that the Corinthians were believers who had strayed. When you submit to the Lord Jesus Christ by putting your belief in Him, the Father will not let you go…He disciplines those He loves. This is the hope we have for our kids -> that they would accept the Lord at some point in their life so that as a parent, you can trust that the Lord promise of ‘nothing can pick you out of My hand’ comes into affect.
I should never feel empty when I admonish a fellow believer. Paul grieved over what he needed to right to the Corinthians. The reason Paul said he doesn’t regret it now is because he saw the fruit of how God used his letter to turn around a whole church. The ultimate motivation to repent came from a grief God intended the Corinthians to feel. That admonishment and feeling of grief could be levied my way at some point in my life.