Every day we miss an opportunity of one form or another. Sometimes this means we live without a benefit and sometimes this means someone else lives without a benefit they could have had.
I believe God and Satan both put opportunities in front of us. Of course the opportunities that Satan puts in front of us are really temptations but at the time they look like opportunities.
In Galatians 6:10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
I can’t imagine how many opportunities to do good that I have missed. And the reasons for not taking these opportunities may be just as numerous. Can you relate to any of these?
I was in too big of a hurry. I ran out of time. I was busy. I was in the middle of something else. I had other plans. It would have made me late. I could not afford it. That person annoys me. I didn’t know him or her. It wasn’t my responsibility. Someone else will do it if I don’t. It looked like a risk. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t want to.
Most of the items I listed above sound more like excuses, don’t they? That is, except the last one, I didn’t want to.
Maybe you are asking what these missed opportunities have to do with regrets. After all, when I choose to pass by a stranger in need, I usually forget the situation quickly.
In Matthew 25, Jesus commands us to care for the least of those around us. He said “as you did to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” He also said, “as you did not do it to one of the lease of these, you did not do it to me.”
This story immediately follows the parable of the talents. In this parable, a master gave money in differing measures to three different individuals with differing abilities. They were to return the money plus a gain upon the man’s return. Two of the three invested the money and returned a profit. The third was afraid and put the money into a hole in the ground so he would not lose it. Upon returning, the master was not pleased with him for he did not attempt to use it for a profit. The first two returned the investment plus a profit. They heard the words, “enter into the joy of your master.” The third who made no effort for profit was called worthless and cast into outer darkness.
Both of these lessons that Jesus taught carry the principle that how we use what God has given us in this life will either bring reward or regret.