Living Past Regret
Sometimes in life’s journey there are moments which cause us to stop in our tracks and recall unpleasant memories. There are things you wish you could change, but can’t. There are words you wish you had never said and things you wish you had never done, but you did. I did, too. I’m sure each of us deals with regret, but if we learn from our past mistakes it not only causes us to become wiser, it provides motivation for us to show empathy and compassion toward someone else who may find themselves in the same circumstances.
I can’t remember where I heard this, but it really penetrated my heart. There is no plan B with God. He knows everything about you from the very beginning of your life to the last breath you breathe. Sure, we have free will, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t know our choices. And even though God knows our choices, He still gives us the opportunity to choose. This is how much God loves us. Even when we mess up and there are repercussions for the wrong choices we make, it doesn’t mean God isn’t the same loving and merciful God who provided redemption for each of us through His son, Jesus.
God’s forgiveness is a wonderful thing. The problem enters when we decide we can’t forgive ourselves. A regret filled life can become a miserable existence. The enemy loves to keep us in misery because he’s in misery. The enemy wants us held in bondage with him. He knows what his ending is going to be and his goal is to take as many souls down with him as possible. Doesn’t it make sense his desire is to hold you captive?
A bird will stay in its cage until it realizes the door is open. Once the bird realizes it is free to leave the cage, it will. The same thing which keeps the bird in the cage is the same thing which makes you constantly think about your regrets. You think you are a captive. The fact is, God set you free the day you accepted Christ as your Savior. God doesn’t expect perfection. God expects us to learn for ourselves the value of forgiveness, mercy, and grace, and to accept them. When we withhold forgiveness from ourselves, it is like saying we are above God. This is one of the poorest choices we can make. Why? Because it devalues the death of Jesus.
The best lesson we can learn is how much we are loved IN SPITE OF ourselves.
Take my yoke upon you & learn from me, for I am gentle & humble in heart, & you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
We find rest when we humble ourselves before the throne, ask for forgiveness and understand what a regret truly is:
E-Everything in our past
G-Giving it to God
R-Releasing it from ourselves
E-Embracing His Forgiveness and
T-Thanking God for His Truth
If you are hanging onto regrets, let them go. Regrets do not define who you are, God does. The weight of carrying your regrets can crush your soul. God’s got better! Our souls come alive when we no longer live in the regret of the past, but in the promise of today.