The dark and lonely closet of regret

No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. Luke 9:32


When you begin to step out into your dynamic future (see yesterday’s Catch), regret becomes something tied to your static past that no longer serves a purpose. Regret, like guilt, is useful only as a passageway to something better. Regret is good in that it gets us to agree with God over what we have done wrong, but it needs to quickly be eclipsed by God’s forgiveness and hope, counting on the new creation that we are in Christ. You regret something only long enough to change. Any longer and it becomes a bondage to one’s past.

Regret is like a hot potato. Hold onto it for any period of time and it will burn you.

Regret can lock you up in the “would have,” ”could have” and “should have”s of life that lead only to a futile rehearsal of our past mistakes with no hope of change. “If only I had or hadn’t done such and such…” Holding onto regret is like turning a key on the closet of isolation, from the inside, that keeps us locked up in darkness and separation. In a twisted sort of way, we like it in that closet, because then we do not have to engage in the life around us. We can selfishly stay, focused on ourselves, drawing all the attention and licking our wounds — wounds that God wants to heal, if we would just stop tearing at them.

Regret nullifies our possibility for change. It says we would rather feel bad about what we did than to learn from it and move on. Regret says that we want to pay for our own sins rather than accept God’s forgiveness. Regret crucifies Christ over and over again when He only died once and for all. Remember? “It is finished.” Regret says, “No it’s not. I have to pay for this first.” And then it’s never over.

Regret basically leaves God out of the picture. It denies the miracle of forgiveness and the hope of change. It says we have only our poor, sinful, dysfunctional selves to deal with.

Stepping out is scary, and there are lots of options to choose from, but that is where the Spirit is. Leave your regrets to the past because they are tethered there and will not accompany you out into the Spirit. Anyway, the Spirit of God doesn’t like closets, especially dark ones.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). What is there to regret about that?

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6 Responses to The dark and lonely closet of regret

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Absolutely love today’s Catch Pastor John and TY for it too.

    Let me plz share this w/ the Catch family:
    Dear friend I come to you w/ a broken heart for my youngest sister Marsha Bazner, now she may what to kill me 4 asking you all, but I like to think/believe any temporary harm could be worth it.
    You see she lost her first born child 18 months ago, her son and one the greatest nephews in the World, Kyle – I cannot even imagine the pain in her heart – All I know is it hurts mine and i find myself balling like a lil boy when i think of the pain and I’m not his Mother, so please whisper a prayer, OK…

  2. Carole in Midland says:

    Prayers are sent for you sister Mark.

    John, I am realizing that it is not JUST regret that makes us hang on to the past – it can be sentimental memories and the plain old uncertainty of giving up the known problems we currently have for a whole new “mystery” set. The KNOWN may suck raw eggs, but the unknown is, well, UNKNOWN! I’m feeling more and more strongly that I need to sell my house, but there is a HUGE part of me that doesn’t want to leave the home where my mom spent her last few years and where she died. The 4th anniversary of her death was 04/07, and memories and missing her are so intense now. Even though I know I take those memories with me, for they are part of me, and not this house, somehow I feel like I am selling all of that and leaving her behind. Silly, I know, but feelings aren’t always rational… still, I took the first step and made an appointment with a realtor today…I’ll prayer for y’all and you pray for me. Deal?

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Big thx, Carole my special & helpful other Catch buddy!

  4. Pingback: Regrets? I Have a Few | Christianity 201

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