A cure for regrets

I’m convinced God doesn’t want us to wallow in regrets.

Several of my elderly neighbours and friends feel the weight of past mistakes – and, sometimes, sins. They review these events in their minds constantly.

One man I know still whips himself mentally for something mean he said to a girl in his teens. It sounds silly, but it is very real to him.

Another person I spoke with this week feels God warned him not to do something but he went ahead with it. It wasn’t a sin, but he feels the medical procedure was behind his current illness.

Still another man says he can’t believe God would forgive him for all the sinful things he has done.

I am as susceptible to regrets as they are.

How can we deal with regrets?

I think I need – and my friends need – to latch onto God’s grace and forgiveness. I have said as much to my friends and I must apply this truth to myself.

If I have hurt someone, I should admit my wrongdoing to that person and apologize. If I have sinned in other ways, I should confess my sins to God.

Allowing these regrets to hang over us is close to saying we don’t believe God can love us because of what we have done.

I often turn to Psalm 103 which is a poem exalting God’s all-encompassing love and mercy.

In verse 8, David writes: “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” And in verse 12, he says: “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

Once we put our faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us, we are promised that we will always be in God’s loving hands, no matter what sins or mistakes we have committed.

The apostle Paul tells us that “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus”. (Romans 8:1)

And he also has good advice for daily living in Christ. In Philippians 3:13-14, he writes: “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

In other words, Paul wants us to put behind us our past triumphs and failures and to focus our minds on Christ Jesus and what he is calling us to do.

That’s a cure for regrets.

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