By Pastor Andy Plank
Do You Have Regrets?
June 6, 2021
I like it when things fall into a routine. For example, I normally write my blog post on Monday (as a shameless plug, if you are bored, or suffering from insomnia, you can find the blog on our church website oldnewhopebaptist.org). Then, I revisit the post on Thursday or Friday so I can edit it. After that, I usually let my chapel clerk edit it some more and then I post it on Facebook and email it to the lady who posts it onto our website. One day last week, I went back and reread several old blog posts. I thought some of them were very good, others were pretty good, and a few of them made me want to crawl under a rock. As I was reading them, I started to ponder. My life is kind of like my blog posts. As I look back over my life, most of it has been very good, and most of what hasn’t been very good has at least been tolerable. However, like some of my less than stellar blog posts, some of the regrets in my life make me want to crawl under a rock. What do we do with our regrets? Unlike my blog posts, I can’t just delete my mistakes and to be honest, some of my biggest regrets are from so long ago, I can’t even go make them right. Even if I could, the people that I hurt have probably either died or forgotten about it so, even if I could make it right, bringing it up would hurt them all over again. I know that God is in charge of my life and He knows how it is all going to end and He is even in the process of rewriting my failures and turning them into something good (See Romans 8:28 in case you think I am making that part up). With that being said, what do we do when our memories reunite us with our regrets? We can try booze, drugs, food, and other vices to help us numb the pain, but what happens when the highs from our vices turn into lows? We could try to do a whole bunch of good things to offset the bad, but that doesn’t work either, because in the middle of all our good deeds, we mess up and find ourselves in trouble again. The problem is, I just can’t be good enough. If you are a Christ follower, here are a few quick ideas. First, turn your regrets over to Jesus and leave them there. The theological word for that is repentance. Repentance is way more than feeling sorry. Repentance is more about the mind than it is about actions. In the strictest sense, repentance means to change one’s mind. We need to change our mindset about our regrets. Instead of letting them drag us down, acknowledge them and leave them at the foot of the cross. Second, we need to learn from them. There is an old quote that tells us “experience is the best teacher”. That statement isn’t quite true. Actually, “examined” experience is the best teacher. There are too many people, me included, that spend too much time doing the same things over and over but expecting different results. Let’s learn from our regrets and make ourselves better as a result. I will leave you with a verse from Acts 3:19, “Repent then, and turn to God, so that your sins might be wiped out, that times of refreshing might come from the Lord.” See the progression? Regret….repent…rejoice.
Be blessed and go be a blessing. Andy