The best definition of regret is a feeling of sorrow or remorse over something that has happened or has been done as well as the same feeling for a missed opportunity.
We all have regrets. Some regrets we get over quickly. That may be because the loss was not that great or what could have been gained was either not significant or it could be gained another way. But some regrets are significant with pain that can last a lifetime.
I remember a conversation I had with an old cowboy rancher from western South Dakota. He really was not as old as he looked. He was struggling with some major health issues including emphysema. In between gasps for air he told me that had he known he would live this long, he would have taken better care of himself. This was certainly a regret and sadly for something that was irreversible.
I have lived long enough to hear numbers of regrets from people who wish they could just go back and have a do over. A man regrets not having worked harder to save his marriage. A father regrets not spending more time with his children in their growing years. A woman regrets the first time she ever went to a casino. A teen regrets driving his car recklessly which caused an accident. A man regrets not visiting his aging father more.
Let’s face it. Regrets mean there is pain and so often, the pain could have been avoided had only . . . Had only I made a better choice.
I know there are things we regret that are outside of our control. But for today, let’s focus on the types of regrets that are linked to our choices. They are the hardest to deal with. It is harder to bear these regrets. Who can we blame but ourselves?
Regrets that burden us from carrying on with life are a form of bondage. Bondage is never from God so it is right to conclude that God desires to set us free from this bondage. Living in regrets is living in the past and keeps us from either enjoying the present or from making the most of present opportunities for good.
When God forgives, He remembers our sin no more. He doesn’t hold the wrong choices or actions against us. With this He opens doors of hope for a better future and He desires that we look forward to this future He has planned for us.
1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sin, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This does not change history, but it does give hope for a brighter future.