Almost everyone lives with some form of regret.
In my youth, I considered trying out for a professional football team. Having the size and speed, I thought I could make it. But three weeks before training camp, a mature mentor who I respect deeply, had a father-son talk with me about my decision and I changed my mind. Whether I would have made it or not, I have fleeting moments of regret for not even trying.
I have several other more regrettable moments in life. Foolish decisions. Unhealthy relationships. Years wasted in the Prodigal pigpen of sin. Tarnished reputation. I regret them all deeply and wish I could reclaim those decision, choices, and years.
Even God has regrets. Just before the Flood, He regretted making man (Genesis 6:6). After giving Moses the Ten Commandments, when He saw the Israelites dancing around the golden calf, He regretted delivering them from Egypt and wanted to destroy them all (Exodus 32:7-10). He regretted making Saul king of Israel (1 Samuel 15:35). Notice, His regret follows disappointment over sinful choices and lifestyles.
Yes, we regret the skeletons in our closets. But, thank God for His forgiveness, second chances, and renewing transformation. His blessed hope encourages us to stop carrying dead regrets and live in His new life:
- He removes the old and provides a fresh start. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let go of the dead past—live today in His new life. Stop seeking the dead among the living.
- Walking in a fresh start is a choice. “Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Once God has forgiven and removed the sin, choose to walk each new day without the weights and sins that so easily cause you to stumble (Hebrews 12:1).
- Once God forgives, removes, and renews, He no longer holds past sin over us. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). The secret is to walk forward in God’s Spirit. Learn from the past, but don’t keep reliving it or replaying it in your mind. With a new start should come new behaviors, new habits, new lifestyles. Out with the old, in with the new.
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