“Don’t fear failure. Fear faithlessness. Don’t fear attack. Fear apathy. Don’t fear rejection. Fear regret.” – Steven Furtick.
Every day we make mistakes, and most of the time we just ignore these failings and move forward. But every so often, there is one that makes us pause and take notice and ultimately becomes a regret. Most people struggle with regret – big and small – and some regrets take root and have to be dealt with.
Being a Christian would seem to make regret irrelevant. After all, as Christians we hear stories about bold faith and celebrate stories of dramatic transformation. These are uplifting, but they can create the perception that we no longer have to deal with the effects of lingering regrets we accumulated before we came to Christ or after for that matter. Becoming a Christ follower undos all the worst mistakes we ever made.The gospel of Christ grants us freedom from the condemnation that still haunts us daily. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). So it makes sense that we would feel a little uneasy about regrets all the while wondering why our regrets from the past are still part of our lives today.
Christ does indeed make all things new. And He is at work to reclaim, redeem, and repurpose every single one of our regrets as we submit ourselves to His work in our lives. But it means facing those regrets prayerfully and with courage, not denying they exist. Denying that our regrets exist will not make them disappear. Only God can do that. And He will. Regrets are one way to come to grips with our humanity, as well as the depth of Christ’s redemption of all that we are, and all that we’ve done.
But let’s also have an eye toward the future. This week’s sermon on “choosing discipline over regret” is not about going back in time for a do over. It is about eliminating future regrets by our actions today. Work harder in your relationships so you will not have the regret in the future. Spend more time with your children and grandchildren so you don’t have the regret of misplaced priorities in the future. And don’t regret that you missed the mark in your relationship with Jesus Christ. You can manage your time, your money, your emotions and your energy in such a way that you live and die without any regrets. Regrets can be avoided if we make better choices today.
- How easy is it to cruise through a day and not even think about the choices we make? Why is it so easy?
- How can making the right choices and doing what God loves make your life better? What can we do this week to start making the right choices?