“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” – Philippians 3:13
“My Way” is a song popularized in 1969 by Frank Sinatra. Its lyrics were written by Paul Anka. The lyrics include: Regrets, I’ve had a few…but then again, too few to mention…I did what I had to do. And saw it through without exemption. Regrets are part of life. There is no such thing as a life without any disappointment, so there is no such thing as a life without regrets. Maybe you have a lifetime of regret, or maybe you have only a few regrets.
Maybe you’re married and there is something that has caused regret. Maybe God is calling you to take a risk, but you didn’t and you have regret that you didn’t trust God. Maybe you’ve missed some key moments with your kids and you’re just realizing that you’ve spent years chase after that corner office rather than spending quality time with them.
We don’t need more guilt. It holds a certain power over us. But it is not too late. Because of the Cross, we don’t have to minimize our regret or deny our regret. We bring all of our regrets to the foot of the Cross. We release them because our God is in the redemption business, and at the foot of the Cross, regret can turn into repentance and repentance can turn into redemption. If you’re carrying a weight of regret on your back that you can’t fix, it’s in the past – put it down and clean it out, because it’s time to make room for something new.
In Luke 22. Peter himself went through a tremendous amount of regret. All of us know that on the night in which Jesus Christ was betrayed, Peter boasted too much, he prayed too little, he followed too far, and he remembered too late. Mark says that when he began to realize what he had done, he wept. What hope is there when we blow it? What hope is there when we deny that which we know to be true and live contrary to what we exactly believe to be the case? Our hope is Jesus.
Jesus reached out and touched Peter in a very special way. Mark 16 tells us that after Jesus was raised, there was an angel that was sitting there at the tomb. And the angel talks to the people that come, and then the angel says this: “Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” (vs. 7) Just to make sure that he is not overlooked, the angel says, “and Peter.” There is hope in spite of our regrets.
- Are you busier letting go of the regret or rescuing it?
- What lingering regrets do you have? What can you do today to reconcile them?