We have a sign in our kitchen that reads, among other short pieces of advice like “Forgive quickly” — “Never regret anything that made you smile.” I’m going to shorten that to just, “Never regret anything. Period.”
Regret is a dangerous thing. Mostly it isolates you and prevents you from moving forward. It locks you in the past. Regret locks you in a prison of shame and remorse and throws away the key. It keeps you small and helpless.
Regret works with the worst about us because it says we must pay for our sins, and the payment is our self-inflicted prison sentence. We secretly like this because as long as we regret, we don’t have to change. We don’t have to change because we can’t. We’re too focussed on the past to do anything about the future. Besides, what can you do in prison? As long as we stay in the prison of regret, we cannot move forward.
The only way out of the prison of regret is forgiveness, and the only one who can forgive is Jesus. Only Jesus can forgive because only Jesus has paid for our sins. No one else, including yourself, can put your sin away. In Jesus, our sins have been nailed to the cross, buried in the tomb never to surface again. When Jesus walked out of the grave, our sins were gone forever. Look at Jesus walking out of the tomb victorious. There is nothing in His hands. He’s not carrying even a splinter of that cross. It’s gone, and with it, our sin. He is free, and so are we.
The way out of regret is to have nothing to regret, and that is the way of the Christian. There is nothing to regret because all sins are paid for and gone. A believer still indulging in regret is saying that in spite of what Christ has done, they have to pay for their sins. That is to say that Jesus died in vain. That means that for me, as a believer, regret is an insult to Christ. Stop that. Step out in faith and freedom and look forward to how you can change, now that you are free. If there is nothing to regret, there is nothing to hold you back.