Good to Feel Bad

           Someone told me that those who debate educational philosophies have suggested we teachers stop grading children’s papers with red ink. Doing so supposedly damages their psyches somehow. I have told my students I plan to continue grading their papers in red ink because I want their psyches damaged. I want them damaged in such a way that their brains block out the possibility of making those same mistakes again. I want those red marks to so stick out in their remembrance that they form a blind spot to the mistakes and see only how to correctly respond to what’s being asked of them. In other words, it’s good for those red marks to be making my students feel bad enough not to want me to mark all over their papers again.

          In the same way, it’s good for us to feel bad about our sin. God, through the apostle Paul, explains, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication!” 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NKJ).

          When God produces sorrow—sadness, grief, grievous, or heaviness—in us over something we’ve done, we ought to feel regret. We’ve hurt our loving, heavenly Father. We ought not just “buck up” and “try to get over it.” No, this kind of sorrow is designed to ignite a passionate zeal that pushes us to repent and get right again with God. This is good sorrow; this is when it’s good to feel bad.


©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at Also, periodically check in at to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.




~ by sanewriter on October 1, 2011.

One Response to “Good to Feel Bad”

  1. Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time 🙂

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