DEALING WITH REGRETS

This may print better using the Word version.

 

1)     We may wish for a do-over

a)     We think we could live without big mistakes if we were given enough do-overs.  Prov  14:12 This is a prideful attitude. Dig deeper

b)     We set our own standard for what is good enough, one that we didnít live up to.  Isa 55:8-9 This is a prideful attitude as the standard is Godís and itís perfection. Dig deeper

c)     Just a one day do-over would be sufficient.  If we could do over days without consequence until we got it good enough, our sinful desires would use one or more of those opportunities for sin.  Mark 7:20-23 Dig deeper

d)     God has designed life, knowing that weíll fall short, giving us only one life. Heb 9:27 Dig Deeper

2)     We believe that our mistake(s) makes us less than valuable enough to continue with a good life.

a)     We believe that we have been a powerful enough entity to damage our lives beyond Godís ability to redeem. Tit 2:14  It is actually prideful to believe we can be so bad that God is unable to fix us.  Dig Deeper

b)     We believe we are bad enough we canít be forgiven. This is pride as above and by doing so we lessen in our minds the value of the blood of Jesus.  I Pet 1:18-19 Dig Deeper

3)     We canít forgive ourselves. By holding our sin against us, against the will of God, we make a choice to put limitations on our lives.   Gal 4:7  Dig Deeper

4)     Example of a murderer.  

a)     Paul murdered Christians.  Acts 22:4

b)     Jesus ďfoundĒ Paul  Acts 22:6-8

c)     Paul lived for Jesus  Gal 2:20  Dig Deeper

5)     The solutions are found in three steps.

a)     Repent of the wrong you may have done that brought about what you regret.  I Jn 1:9  Dig Deeper

b)     Learn from the past.  Prov 26:11-12 Prov 24:16  Dig Deeper

c)     Live the future as a humbled person, knowing that it is only by Godís power that you are able to do good.   Jas 1:17  Dig Deeper




 

THINK ABOUT IT

 

You drive down the road and something off to the right catches your attention.  In that moment a child runs across the street and you hit him.  He lives but will never walk again.  How can you move on?  You just canít get the picture of our regret out of your mind.  ďIf onlyĒ goes through your head over and over.  If only you did everything right, you wouldnít hurt anyone.  The truth is that you canít, nobody can, do everything right.  We are flawed and our flaws hurt people by what we do and what we donít do to or for them.

If you donít know Jesus as your Savior, you will never find peace.  Rom 5:1 You will spend your life trying to forget your mistake, trying to make up for it, or medicating your pain.  He is the only way. Jn 14:6 Accept His forgiveness for all your sins. Rom 6:23  

If you are medicating your pain, if you arenít being all that God wants you to be, someone out there who needs just the kind of love that God desires to flow through you is wanting.  John 13:34 You may be living your life thinking if you donít do much, you canít do much wrong.  By not doing much, in a sense youíre doing everything wrong. Matt 25:14-30

No matter how many days we could relive, no matter how many lives we could live, we will still make mistakes.  All of our mistakes hurt others in some manner and just one keeps us from a relationship with a perfect God.  Jesus paid for all sin, big and small.  His blood was shed for the sins of the world.  Itís a lie of the devil that you could commit a sin too big for the blood of Jesus to cover it.  His blood covers the world.  Heb 9:14 Itís pride for you to believe that you are such a powerful entity in the universe that you can commit an act too big for God to deal with.

 

Use your experience to realize how flawed you are and how powerful God is.  Phil 4:13 Use your experience not to give up on life but to give up trying to conquer life without God.  You are an overcomer not on your own but by the power of Christ.  I Jn 4:4

Instead of living as if you are worthless, see yourself as worthless if it were not for the love of God, and worth everything with it. Jas 4:10 Instead of not ďliving life,Ē live your life for Jesus.  Phil 3:12-14

 

Additional resource:  Got Questions about regrets?

 


 

WORK IT OUT

 

1.     Read through the digging deeper sections for anything that you think applies to you.  Read each verse and meditate for at least a minute on itís meaning.  What stands out to you? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2.     Make a list of regrets that seem to keep you from moving on with a victorious life.

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3.     Confess to God that you did wrong.  Read 1 John 2:2.  Meditate on its meaning.  Read 1 Cor 6:11 Perhaps visualize your wrong, your sin as a big dirty black spot on your face. Visualize the blood of Jesus covering over your entire body washing it clean. How does doing so change your thinking?  _____________________________________________________________________

4.     Write out what you learned from each offense or the consequences of those offenses that you now regret. ____________________________________________________________________

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5.     Consider that Paul murdered Christians.  Write out if you can what makes your sin worse than his.  _________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________

6.     What would have been results of Paul not forgiving himself?  Consider that Paul wrote at least 13 letters in the New Testament by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7.     How have you ďpunished yourselfĒ because of your feelings about your past? _______________

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8.     List the positive and negative results of you punishing yourself? __________________________

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9.     God has made you clean.  I Jn 1:9 Explain how you justify saying you arenít clean when God says you are. __________________________________________________________________

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10.  Perhaps visualize yourself at the foot of the cross. Jesus is dying, shedding his blood for your sins.  Can you visualize yourself thanking Him for paying the price for all your sins and making you a child of God?  Can you then visualize listing your regrets and telling Jesus that his sacrifice isnít enough for you to be able to forgive yourself and live for Him?

11.  Pray, ask God to help you visualize what your life looks like living from here on as an overcomer, a forgiven free child of God.  Phil 3:13-14 ____________________________________________

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Dig Deeper

 

1)     We may wish for a do-over

a)     We think we could live without big mistakes if we were given enough do-overs.  Prov 14:12  This is a prideful attitude.  We may think, ďif I just did, or I just didnít, everything would be ok.Ē  If given enough chances, we can get it right.  We may think that if we didnít do a bad thing to others, their lives would be better.  The truth is that the only good we can ever do is a result of God doing good through us.  God is a God of turning what the world sees as bad into eternal good.  We arenít capable of ruining another personís life.  If weíre capable of doing wrong that can'tí be fixed, then we must think weíre capable of doing good that will last.  In this fallen world, God allowed a fallen person to fail.  The secular world understands this as portrayed in movies like Groundhog Day where no matter what Phil did, he couldnít save the life of the homeless man and Butterfly Effect where whatever was done to fix the wrong resulted in other negative outcomes.  In a corrupt world, there will always be negative outcomes. Believing that being able to have ďdo oversĒ will result in a better life for you and those close to you is believing you can do something only God can do.

b)     We set our own standard for what is good enough, one that we didnít live up to.  Isa 55:8-9 This is a prideful attitude as the standard is Godís and itís perfection.  When we wish for a do-over, we set a particular standard for what needs fixing.  For example, most of us would want to do-over something we did that really hurt someone.  But what if we didnít tell the truth or were angry about traffic?  Would that be worth a do-over?  If we could have do-overís weíd set a standard for what we would and wouldnít try to change.  The standard is Godís.  Again pride shows itself when we think we know better than God the way life should be.

c)     Just a one day do-over would be sufficient.  If we could do over days without consequence until we got it good enough, our sinful desires would use one or more of those opportunities for sin.  Mark 7:20-23  Even when there are earthly consequences for our actions, we sin.  We may do something that we know will cause pain to a loved one and out of selfishness do the act anyway.  How much more would we sin if we could just live without consequences and do over a day?  In a sense, we get do overs each time we start a new day.  Do we not repeat similar sins the new day?  Do we quit being angry in traffic or being selfish?  Do we seek Godís will and way in our life today because we failed to do so yesterday?.  I believe that God doesnít wish for man to live life without earthly consequences.

d)     God has designed life, knowing that weíll fall short, giving us only one life. Heb 9:27 God knows everyone makes mistakes. Rom 3:23 It just takes one imperfect action or thought to keep us from having relationship with God.  The thief on the cross Luke 23:39-43 didnít see truth until the end and heíll spend eternity with God.  Rest and trust in Godís design even though it may not make sense to you. Matt 20:1-16

 

 

2)     We believe that our mistake(s) makes us less than valuable enough to continue with a good life.

a)     We believe that we have been a powerful enough entity to damage our lives beyond Godís ability to redeem. Tit 2:14  It is actually prideful to believe someone can be so bad that God is unable to fix them.  By thinking and acting that youíve done so wrong, your life canít be redeemed, you are saying that you can be so bad that even God with all His power canít fix you and make you the way He wants you to be.  You can cite all your mistakes and all the consequences in your life and otherís lives. By doing so, you are saying that your bad is stronger than Godís good. Rom 8:31 Isa 55:8-9 Psalm 147:5 You can listen to the lie of the enemy, Satan, that you are no longer worthwhile.  Instead, admit that you can never live up to Godís standards and that He is powerful enough to make you valuable in spite of yourself.  

b)     We believe we are bad enough we canít be forgiven. Pride as above and we lessen the value of the blood of Jesus.  I Pet 1:18-19   Jesus became man and shed his blood until He died to pay the price for everything you could ever do wrong. To not accept His full payment is believing and acting as if God needs to do more to make you clean.  Itís insinuating that His death isnít enough.  Facing Father God and saying that His Son dying isnít enough to pay for what youíve done wrong is prideful.  Confess your sin and receive and accept his FULL forgiveness.  I Jn 1:9  Isa 53:5 Rom 5:9 Gal 3:13

3)     We canít forgive ourselves. By holding our sin against us, against the will of God, we make a choice to put limitations on our lives.  Gal 4:7  As believers, we belong to God and our life belongs to him. Gal 2:20  I Cor 6:19-20 When we choose to limit our lives, believing that we are unworthy while God is telling us that we belong to Him, we are taking something no longer our own, our lives. When someone commits a substantial crime, they have to go to jail. Jesus went to jail for all our sins. The jail door is now open and we are free to leave. Not forgiving yourself it's the same as staying in jail when you don't have to. Who would do that?  Weíd be living like a slave when we are free. Gal 4:6-10  This passage is talking about going back to a sinful life. It however makes a similar point when we are acting like not being forgiven when we are.

4)     Example of a murderer.

a)     Paul murdered Christians.  Acts 22:14

b)     Jesus ďfoundĒ Paul  Acts 22:6-8

c)     Paul lived for Jesus  Gal 2:20   Imagine having a conversation with Paul and telling him why what you did was so bad you could not have an abundant life. God provided this incredible example of a man who was not only a murderer, but murdered God's people. This man did not just go on and forgive himself. He went on to be an apostle, to share salvation to the gentiles.

 

5)     The solutions are found in three steps.

a)     Repent of the wrong you may have done that brought about what you regret.  I Jn 1:9 It is important that you admit what you did was wrong to God. In order to do things right, you also need to go to the person who you wronged and confess to them as well. It is not important in your relationship with God whether they forgive you or not. Working toward rebuilding a relationship, reconciling with them, requires that you ask them what you might be able to do to make things right. Repent also means to turn away from your sins.  It means that you not only have a different mindset about what you did wrong but that you are doing things differently.

b)     Learn from the past.  Prov 26:11-12 Prov 24:16 We all make mistakes. If we do not learn from our mistakes, we are destined to repeat them. Consider what led up to your mistake, what you could have done different in those things that led up to your mistakes. An example is if you found yourself out of a car because you had outspent your income, consider that for a substantial time before you lost your car, that you may have spent too much money and not worked enough hours. Itís important to specifically note what you will now do differently both leading up to and at the time of the mistake.

c)     Live the future as a humbled person, knowing that it is only by Godís power that you are able to do good.   Jas 1:17  There is a benefit in the time when you are or were  unable to move past your regrets.  It has made you in a sense a broken person. The truth is we are unable to do any good for anybody on our own. All good comes from God. We can learn to walk humbly knowing that He will work his good through us as we allow him to.  Phil 2:13 A humble person expressing God's love is a very attractive person. We are all seeking the love of God and we all seek to be around people like that. That is what you can be to others as you humbly allow Godís love to flow through you.