2 Corinthians 7:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 7:9, NIV: yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.

2 Corinthians 7:9, ESV: As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

2 Corinthians 7:9, KJV: Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

2 Corinthians 7:9, NASB: I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.

2 Corinthians 7:9, NLT: Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.

2 Corinthians 7:9, CSB: I now rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn't experience any loss from us.

What does 2 Corinthians 7:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul's severe letter rebuking the Corinthians for their sinfulness hit home with them in the best way possible. Instead of angrily rejecting Paul's correction, they were grieved. Understanding that they had been sinful in this way made them deeply sad.

The tone here sounds like a loving parent in his response to hearing about their sadness. On the one hand, Paul hates to hear that they experienced this grief. On the other hand, he is thrilled that their reaction was appropriate and godly. He rejoices because this is exactly the response that was needed to bring them to repentance. Repentance is a commitment to change course and go in the correct direction. Often repentance from sin only follows the sadness that comes from understanding the consequences of that sin.

Scripture describes this sadness as a "godly grief." Paul acknowledges that his letter caused them to experience this pain, but it was the temporary, beneficial pain they needed in order to move away from their sinful course. In other words, Paul's severe letter did not hurt them, did not cause them loss. Instead, it helped them. The following verses will expand on the difference between godly, convicting sorrow and worldly despair.