Christian men and women cry. They shed tears of guilt, of contrition; tears of sorrow for sins. Ever sat down and simply wept over your spiritual failures? James wrote, “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom” (James 4:9). Over what are they, are we, to mourn and weep, wail? Their sins or our sins? (vs. 8).
Paul says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret… (2 Corinthians 7:10). When my heart is anguished over my own sins, it helps me to turn in the right direction. It helps me to turn to God. It helps me to be a better person, and to do the things necessary to be forgiven of God. In forgiveness comes comfort. That is why Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
When Peter was confronted with guilt, the guilt of denying the Lord three times, “he wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75). It was a terrible sin. Peter had done something so very shameful. To deny the seriousness of that transgression would be to insult the Lord. It was good for him to experience the pain of his guilt, and in weeping for his sin he demonstrated a heart that was still sensitive to good and evil, a heart capable of repentance.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).