Have you ever done something that you deeply regretted? A harsh word spoken in anger that you can’t take back that hurt someone you love to the core. A horrible mistake at work that harmed your reputation, a bad relationship that you stayed in for too long, a dream deferred. We all have regrets in our lives, things that we wish we could do differently.
Regret, when absorbed properly, can push us closer to God and deepen our sense of conviction and dependence on Him. We don’t want to repeat those mistakes and we realize, with painful clarity, how much we can mess up our lives when we don’t keep Him at the center. However, regret defined by Webster’s as “a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss or disappointment’ can also turn into condemnation when it festers in our spirits.
Regret can keep us in a mindset where we are constantly looking back to our past weighed down by what could have been and what you should have done. I’ve found myself literally trapped in my mind watching the same scene over and over again wishing that I could make the outcome different. Satan likes to use regret as a tool to make us feel ashamed and to heighten our sense of unworthiness before God so that instead of turning to Him we run from Him, the only One who can change the situation.
For this reason Paul said, “there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV). Paul knew a thing or two about what regret could be like and he could have easily allowed his past to hinder him from being all that God had called him to be.