O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Psalm 25:2
What are the things you regret? Regret is a powerful emotion and if I choose to live in it without having placed all my hopes in a God who redeems, I will become depressed and withdrawn. There were words spoken that I can’t take back. There were a series of selfish acts that seemed so small at the time but yielded great pain for those around me. That is the cruelty of sin; what looked like no big deal led me to do it a second time, then a third, and it wasn’t long before guilt became my ever constant companion. I have thought many times, “If only I could go back and do it right!”
Wisdom runs deep in the heart of a repentant sinner. I am passionate about the lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes. Give me a soapbox (and God has) and I’ll proclaim loudly, “Don’t do it! You can’t afford the ultimate consequences of shame and regret.”
The real tragedy is the child of God who has come to Christ but has never tapped into what it means to ‘abide’ to experience a resurrection power that heals places of shame. Many, including myself for a few decades, lived in the bitter place of regret. I numbed my pain with service to God, hoping to lessen my guilt. This proved futile and led to an emotional crash in my forties.
Every now and then, I have to stop everything and look honestly at how my sin has shaped me. Sin slaughters hope. Forgiveness resuscitates it. Is there something I’ve done that still causes me to shrink and live small? As a fly feeds on rotting flesh, Satan feeds on guilt and shame. He’ll parade my past before my eyes continually if I let him. Every memory where my body still slumps as it remembers needs to be impacted again by the good news of God’s unfathomable mercy.
You never intended for your children to live in the shadows of regret. The tears of repentance are meant to lead me to the joy of forgiveness and a new beginning. I don’t want to wince as I remember. In Jesus name, Amen