We don’t use the word “pang” today. It’s an old 15th century term that means “a brief piercing spasm of pain or a sharp attack of mental anguish.”
2Cor. 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
Godly sorrow is the pain we feel when the Gospel convicts us, shows us our sin and compels us to decide to change. Without it, we’ll never make it to heaven. Every person needs godly sorrow in their life. Every person needs correction sometimes.
Sadly, most sorrow isn’t “godly.” It’s the sorrow of the world. It’s regret that we’ve been found out. It’s regret that the Gospel convicts us and condemns us. It’s sadness that we can live like we want, be left alone and avoid God’s Word. The result of that sorrow is death. That’s eternal death.
Judas was such a man. He felt the pangs of guilt and killed himself, making matters worse.
We all feel pangs of guilt. The question is, “What are we going to do about them? How will we handle them?”
The sinner ignores them until they go away. In time, they disappear entirely.
1 Timothy and other places speak of seared consciences and hard hearts – hearts that are no longer touched by the pangs of guilt, or by the urges of the Gospel.
Ignore the pangs long enough and they go away. But that’s not a place where you want to be IF you seek heaven. You want the Gospel to make you feel guilty…guilty enough to do something positive about it. Unlike Judas, the Gospel Truth should compel you to devote yourself more fully to God by finding the remedy for your sin in God’s Word.
Measure the pangs of guilt in your life?
Has it been a long, long time since you felt the pangs of guilt? Then you need to take emergency action. You need to spend as much time with God’s Word as possible. You need to pray often. I’d strongly encourage you to fast for a few days as you consider spiritual things. You need to repair your heart (your mind). God’s Word can do that, but it’s going to take work on your part.
What do you do with the pangs of guilt?
Many people get angry. They despise instruction, even from God’s Word.
Prov. 13:18 “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.”
The irony is that those guilty of a thing are the first offended. Which makes sense really. Their guilt is a pang – it’s a sharp pain. Unfortunately, some people respond by making a decision to get mad. They avoid looking in the mirror of the Gospel to make the changes in their life that God seeks. They’d rather be mad than go to heaven.
Our best response is to heed the Truth of the Gospel, repent of our sinful behavior, confess it to God, be forgiven and work hard to improve.
James 1:25 “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Will you be blessed in your deed? Or will you be resentful in your anger?
How will you deal with your pangs of guilt?