Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV
Paul mentions two types of sorrow here. Specifically, sorrow concerning something that I have done. The first type of sorrow he mentions is godly sorrow. A sorrow that leads to repentance and salvation. The second type of sorrow is worldly sorrow which leads to death.
I have often seen a parent instruct their child to tell someone else they were sorry for something they had done. And usually, the child will respond with “I’m sorry.” But what were they sorry for? Generally, they are not sorry for what they had done, but because they had been caught and had to suffer the consequences. This is worldly sorrow. It is only a surface sorrow that does not produce any lasting change.
On the other hand, godly sorrow is sorrow for what I have done, regardless of the consequences I might suffer. It is sorrow that leads to repentance and a commitment not to repeat the action. Godly sorrow can lead an unbeliever to repentance and a saving relationship with God. Godly sorrow can also lead to healing a broken or damaged relationship with God or another person. Real godly sorrow is hard. But it is always worthwhile.