Monday, January 31, 2011


I am not the kind of person who spends her life regretting things.  That's not to say I don't remember the past, but I do not spend hours a day guilting myself about things I did years ago.  I used to be that person, but with God's grace I've largely moved past that burden.  However, it seems recently I was confronted with the topic of regret everywhere I turned. 

First, I watched a television program where a woman, I'll call her Ann, was so eaten up by regret from her past excessive drinking that, even though Ann had been sober for two years, she could not move on with her life or her family because of her great sadness over past mistakes.  I felt sad watching as Ann talked because she had lost all sense of who she was (or could be) because of the shadow of regret that loomed over everything she did.

Then, this past week, I was faced with one of my own regrets.  Not a "wish I had done that" regret, but a "wish I hadn't done that" regret.  At the time, I absolutely believed that I wouldn't have any regrets, but years later, I chastise the younger version of myself for the decisions I made. 

Finally, after this renewed consciousness about regret, my pastor preached a sermon entitled Moving On, still from the Philippians series I've mentioned before.  I LOVE this book.  That whole section of the New Testament I could camp in for years - Ephesians, Galatians, Colossians, Philippians - wow.  And the worship was tailormade for his message.  One of the songs, How He Loves, was new to me, and it had this great line, "I don't have time to maintain these regrets, When I think about the way that He loves us, Oh how He loves us....."

And it's true.  Why on Earth do you or I spend one millisecond dwelling on the past when the message of His grace and forgiveness is so clear in the Scripture?  If He can forgive you, then forgive yourself.  And we are encouraged and instructed to leave those regrets behind us.  Don't let history repeat itself.  But leave it behind you and don't let that shadow of regret stymie the amazing things He has in store for you. 

The sermon was based on this Scripture - hang this on your mirror if you struggle with regret:

Philippians 3 - But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

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