Have you ever dropped the ball on something, failed to pass the baton, been knocked down and just laid there trying to figure out what hit you? Well I have. Have you ever failed at something you have tried to do and then assumed it must be God’s will that it wasn’t meant to be? I have done that very thing many times; even very recently. And as the time approaches when others will go and I will stay, there is a horrible emptiness, a tremendous sadness and grief at the realization that I have missed a tremendous opportunity that I can never get back. Perhaps this is one of those times where God can “give me back what the locusts have eaten”, or perhaps not. Either way, what do I do with these regrets, I can’t get the time back. I can’t go back and do it over.
And so here I sit, and I am reminded of one of my favorite passages of Scripture about regret. It is found in
2 Corinthians 7:9-10
9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything [c]through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance [d]without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
And so I must see that I must learn to grieve properly over my mistakes, my sins, and my failings. There are two ways to process regret; one leads to salvation, the other to death.
So let’s look at what this precious truth really says. Regret or sorrow over something we have done wrong is good when it is Godly Sorrow. It leads us to Repentance. And Godly sorrow can always be experienced without regret. We can be free from regret by truly repenting over something, instead of side-stepping it, or rationalizing it. Just call it what it is, agree with God about it, and repent. Then, ask His forgiveness, and you will be freed from regret. I know this to be true for I have had to do it many, many times. And here I am again, repenting over another mistake made. This Scripture also tells us that when we have Godly Sorrow, it is according to the Will of God, and it is so that we will not suffer loss in anything. God is not just in the Business of redeeming people; but He redeems lives. He redeems losses, mistakes and regrets. He promises to work all things together for the good for those who love Him.
28 And we know that [k]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)
So God, I come to You, and I confess that I let go too soon, I didn’t try hard enough, or persevere in this matter. I quit. I repent of my laziness, my desire for ease and comfort. I give you this whole matter and pray that You would somehow bring good out of it through what I have learned. Free me from regret through this Godly Sorrow. In Jesus Holy Name. Amen