What do you do with your regrets?
For some time, I felt I needed to call up regrets so I could put them before God and let Him carry them for me. Choices I made that in some way went against my personal values and the way God designed me.
Life doesn’t usually provide "do overs" or "mulligans," as they say in the world of golf. Even though Solomon said, “what has been will be again” (Eccl. 1:9), he was wrong. There are experiences in life that only come once, and if you miss them, you don't get another chance.
I am not calling regrets "sin" - being disobedient to God - but I do call them failures to live up to my stated goal in life:
To be a Christian man under all circumstances
For me, to be a Christian man is to live by the values I see in Jesus...
Who wept with those who wept (John 11:35).
Who confronted those needing to be confronted (Luke 11:37-54).
Who sought to help where there was a need (Matt. 14:13).
Who forgave even His enemy (Luke 23:34).
Who was be tempted and yet did not sin (Heb.4:15).
Who faced the future without fear (John 14:1-2).
My regrets seem to be those life moments of things I did not do rather than the things I did. For example, I regret the funerals I didn’t attend. As a pastor, I have the privilege of doing weddings and funerals. Both are significant in the lives of people. At a wedding, there is joy and laughter and new beginnings. At a funeral, it can be filled with joy also for the believers, but it is also an acknowledgement that life is precious and something has changed; life will never be the same. It
is the time we come together for each other.
God is still working on the core of my life and will do so my entire lifetime. My desire and prayer is that when the Holy Spirit reveals something challenging His character and my core values, I want the presence of God to be as real in me as it was to Jesus when He was tempted in the wilderness (Matt. 4: 1-11).
I want to be able to say the words that William Borden of Yale wrote about his life just before he died in Egypt where he had been preparing to be a missionary to a group in China...
Growing up, he studied at the finest schools. His future was guaranteed by family wealth. But instead he chose to walk away from the prestige and money in response to God’s call on his life. In the end, he would give up his life to a disease in just four short months after answering God's call. Some said it was a waste of a gifted life, but that was not how he evaluated his choices. It was reported that Williams' final words written in his personal Bible were simply, “No Regrets.”
Right now, we might think we are not yet able to say we have "no regrets," but we can decide to let those past regrets be teaching moments. At the same time, resting on God’s grace which leads us to a renewed commitment to be a Christian man or woman under all circumstances in the days and years ahead.
On the journey with you, I am,