The Lens of Regret

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Regrets…we all have them. They come in all sizes from big to small and every size in between. Sometimes, if we look at our lives through the Lens of Regret too long, we can become derailed. For the past several weeks, most of us have had a lot of time on our hands. When we have prolonged periods of time to think, our thoughts naturally return to the past. Some are finding that they are experiencing regret over some of their past choices. Some are even looking at the totality of their lives and are filled with regret over the trajectory their lives have taken.

What can we do if that is what we are experiencing right now? First, we must acknowledge our regrets. We can think about where we went wrong and why we took those wrong turns so many years ago. We must then move to the present and ask ourselves, “Is there anything I can do about those choices now?” If so, we have the time to possibly change the final result of those choices. For instance, if we haven’t spoken to a friend or relative for years, we can pick up the phone and restore communication. Or perhaps we stole something from a business we worked for or an acquaintance we knew. Now could be the right time to write out a check and send it to that person with an explanatory letter expressing our regret. 

You see, the thing about regrets is that they are not all carved in stone. Within some of them lies the opportunity to bring us freedom and a resolution from the burden we have been carrying. They might even hold the possibility of personal growth and maturity in a way we might not have considered possible before. 

But what if we are experiencing something deeper than regret, something that feels akin to sorrow? What if we are genuinely sorry for something we have done or for a series of choices we have made that have impacted our lives in a negative way? Unlikely as it may seem, it might be one of the most positive things we could feel at the moment. The Bible calls that emotion “godly sorrow.” It is a sorrow that has been given to us by the Lord to help us turn our lives around. The Bible puts it this way, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted;” 2 Corinthians 7:10. 

So what do we do with that sorrow? We bring it to the Lord, i.e. we confess it to Him. We tell Him about what we have done wrong and that we are sorry we have done it. We ask Him to forgive us those things (our sins) and we ask Him to have His Son, Jesus, come and live in our hearts and make us new people. That is what we call being “born again.” It is available to anyone at any time. God is always there to here our call. The good news is that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross and be raised from the dead in order to bring us close to Him by making us part of His family.

Regret or godly sorrow? We each must decide. And if we can move in a positive direction, let’s make that move. We won’t regret it!

Image by gagnonm1993. Courtesy of Pixabay.