11 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! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
Verse 11 shows how godly grief and repentance of the Corinthians benefited them. Paul went on to demonstrate seven evidences of true repentance.
11 For observe this very thing,
This verse gives a clear picture of genuine repentance.
that you sorrowed in a godly manner:
The following statements show the true nature of godly sorrow. Paul’s severe letter alerted the Corinthians to the gravity of their situation.
What diligence [eagerness] it produced in you,
“Diligence” is earnestness, a desire to correct the direction of one’s life. Those who genuinely repent are eager to do the right thing. In this case, it was their forthright action to resolve their problem with Paul’s team.
what clearing of yourselves,
The Corinthians wanted to vindicate themselves to Paul’s team. The word “clearing” refers to the church’s defense of their new attitude toward Paul.
The church showed “indignation” against Paul’s opponents (2 Co 2:5-11). This is the only use of the Greek word for indignation in the New Testament.
The church became alarmed at their passiveness toward Paul’s team (2 Co 1-4).
what vehement [longing] desire,
The church longed to restore fellowship with the team and to see them again.
Far from being passive toward the team, the church was zealous to restore their relationship with them.
The church was eager to see justice done toward the team.
In all things you proved yourselves to be clear [innocent] in this matter.
The characteristics of this verse prove the genuine repentance of the church.
It is important to praise people who have repented.
Mature leadership can forget the wrong people do to them. Their only interest is their spiritual restoration.