A life of no regrets, wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing? I want that. I want to arrive on that last day knowing that God was the whole purpose of my life. That I thought of Him first when I awoke each day and His name was on my lips as I fell asleep at night. I want to stand proud knowing that I was willing to go public with my love for Him no matter the cost, that I loved even when it hurt just because it made Him smile. I want to obey when it seems like a crazy thing to do, and serve sacrificially with no thought of return. On that last day, when I finally see Him face to face, I want to know my life was spent praying, singing, serving, and rejoicing in the wonder that is my God.
A Repeat Sinner
But overcoming regret? It’s not going well. I already have a lot of regrets. I’ve fussed at my kids in frustration, whined about my husband, and disobeyed my God. I have lots of cause for regret.
Just the other day, I defended myself at someone else’s expense – one of my more frequent sins. It all began with the best of intentions. I went to the meeting determined to sit back while the blame flew in all directions, take silent satisfaction in knowing it wasn’t my fault, and nobly smile throughout because I was above naming the true offender. It all went well – for the first ten minutes or so. Then suddenly my pride reared its ugly head. In a sudden outburst, I defended myself, incriminated someone else and let all the shame fall on him. I hate when I do that.
Trust me, that is just one of the many things I do wrong. No matter how hard I try to be good, I still sin. That is why I was so excited to learn from II Corinthians 7, that God’s definition of a life of no regrets is not perfection, just humility and repentance.
It’s not too late. You and I can live a life of no regrets., not a sinless life, but still a life of no regrets, a life of repeated repentance.
Scripture tells us that a godly life should look like this: We trust God, we mess up and still sin, God convicts, we repent and this leads to a life of no regrets. Simple, right? Unfortunately, this godly cycle of repentance is easily short-circuited and looks more like this. We sin, God convicts, and we make excuses, try to compensate, and/or sweep it under the rug.
Like the Israelites in Micah’s day who offered sacrifices instead of repenting, it’s easy for us to forego an apology and compensate by bringing a gift. We wonder like Saul, why God doesn’t bless us, yet we stand stubborn in our disobedience, defending ourselves to the end. Like Judas who confessed his sins to his fellow conspirators yet resisted confessing to God, we find it easier to share our wrongdoings with those who love us and not repent to those we have harmed. False repentance, just going through the motions is so common because true repentance is so hard.
It is hard to admit my sin, expose my selfishness, and swallow my pride by asking forgiveness of God and men. But Paul makes it clear in II Corinthians 7:10 (MSG), … those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.
A Life of No Regrets
True repentance, on the other hand, is humbling and it’s hard, but it drives us straight into the arms of God. To the Corinthians who repented after Paul’s godly rebuke he says, And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart II Corinthians 7:11-12 (MSG).
It’s too late for you and me to live a mistake-free, sin-free life. We can’t go back and undo what we have done. Amazingly, Jesus offers us another way, a way to live every day in repentance with His help. A life of repentance is a life of overcoming regret.
Listen to audio “Overcoming Regret” & Learn:
It all began in the garden. When confronted with their sin, Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and the serpent was cursed. Blame-shifting. It’s a way of life, a life full of sin and regrets. God offers a better way – a way to not just deny our sin, but to repent, come clean, and be freed from the guilt and pain. God holds out extravagant promises to those whose sin drives them straight to Him.
- Learn the 3 essential steps of repentance
- Discover a life free of guilt and shame
- Live a life of no regrets
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