I‘ve done enough prison ministry to realize that although repentance is often accompanied by sorrow, simply feeling bad does not prove that one is repentant. There is a big difference between remorse and genuine repentance…
Ken Sande writes, “Worldly sorrow means feeling sad because you got caught doing something wrong or because you must suffer the unpleasant consequences of your actions. In contrast, godly sorrow means feeling bad because you have offended God. It means sincerely regretting the fact that what you did was morally wrong, regardless of whether or not you must suffer unpleasant consequences.”
Exactly… And that means a change of heart. John the Baptist called people to repent and to show it by “producing fruit in keep with repentance.” Matthew 3:8
The apostle Paul said like this: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.” II Corinthians 7:10
I think both John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul would both say, “So you’ve truly repented. Okay, great. Show me the fruit in your life.”
And we know the fruit that we want to keep ripening, don’t we? … Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control ” (Galatians 5.22-23).