“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” – Psalm 37: 4-6.
In a survey, 90 percent of respondents said they have regret in their lives. In the same survey regret is the second most frequently mentioned emotion after love. One survey response on living a regret free life is simply allowing yourself to be happier. Blaise Pascal said, “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end…” I think if we are honest, we would accept the truth of this statement, especially in the context that God wants us to be happy.
As Christians, we tend to think about and talk about the sacrifices we must make to be a follower of Jesus. Most Christians understand that it is not easy to be a follower of Jesus. There are things to do and things to avoid. There are do’s and there are don’ts. There are laws and commandments. It’s no wonder many Christians wonder if God really wants wants us to be happy or to simply keep our nose to the grindstone. Having the grindstone mentality may explain why Christians aren’t always the happiest looking people you come in contact with.
But, the truth is, God wants us to be happy. In fact, our pursuit of happiness is commanded. “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Delighting or finding your happiness in God is your chief aim in life. Because when you find your happiness in God, you are declaring God as more valuable than anything else. John Piper puts it this way, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” God knows that you will be happiest when you find your happiness in Him.
So, what does this have to do with regret? The impact that regret can have on our lives is sometimes difficult to foresee. But regret is an incredibly powerful and enduring feeling that is directly related to our happiness in the end. When we find our happiness in God, we will remember what matters most, what counts and doesn’t count. We won’t be distracted by the petty, the trivial, the things that are not important in life. How much money we make. How popular we are. Not getting into a school, or closing that deal, or giving into that temptation or breaking that rule.
When you are centered on Jesus we will do less things that cause regret. When we are happy in God, we won’t feel the overwhelming need for other people or things to satisfy our deepest desires. And that is why 1 Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
- There are many different ideas of what constitutes happiness. What does it mean to you to be truly happy?
- Besides your faith in Christ, what are some of the things in your life that give you happiness?
- How do happiness and regret go together?
- Ask God to help you seek happiness through Him only.