12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:12-14
Regret is a paralyzing focus on the past, and significantly impacts our ability to receive His grace in our present and our future. But regret is so often a part of who we are, and it’s a motivator for what we do.
We are not perfect. As much as I want to be the type of person who gets it right all the time, that’s just not going to happen. I am going to lash out in anger, I am going to give in to the consuming fears and anxiety, I am going to jump into the pit of despair from time to time - even though in these moments i know I shouldn’t. I am going to judge other people, I am going to choose harsh words over kind ones, I am going to insist on my own way rather than being gentle. I am going to continue to struggle with forgiving those big hurts, and I’m going to be challenged to lay down my earthly idols. I could keep going because the list of our brokenness is endless.
Accepting what’s done is done is hard. I can’t pull back the words I’ve said from someone’s ears, nor can I take a re-do on a choice I’ve made. We don’t get to relive the moments of our lives trying to do it better. We have to accept what’s done is done, and make a conscious choice to move on.
But the regret does serve a purpose if you view it through the lens of God’s grace. Our words and our actions are the result of what exists in our hearts. Our minds may read scripture and determine to be more gentle and loving because that’s what He tells us to do, but our hearts are deceitful above all things. We hide our sin in our hearts so that we cannot see it. We literally have blind spots to our sin. If we pay close attention to our actions and our words, and we spend time reflecting on how they line up with God’s Word, we will be able to see into those dark places. That’s the only way we can truly change.
But that’s it. After those moments, we let the regret go. It serves a purpose, and then we’re done with it. You see, God convicts, but the enemy condemns. God pricks our hearts when we behave in a way that is inconsistent with his word in an effort to reveal where we need to grow - that’s part of the sanctification process. That’s the initial feeling you have when you do something you shouldn’t have done. We are to confess and repent of it in those moments and accept The forgiveness offered by Jesus when He died on the cross.
The problem is the enemy swoops in to turn that conviction into condemnation. He’s the one who has you dwelling on your poor choices, and he’ll continue to bring it up to you so long as you let him. He will remind you over and over what a failure you are, and he’ll use it at just the right moments to keep you isolated and quiet the Spirit’s promptings inside you.
You are forgiven. Immediately and completely for all your wrongs. Let them go. Stop living in regret. It’s keeping you from seeing what God has in store for you.
Press on, you are loved 💗
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