Okay, let's get this out of the way... the church in America doesn't talk about regret. Religion doesn't like to talk about regret. Why? Because most people live with it. Religion doesn't like to think or talk about things we actually deal with daily. Well, I'll admit it.... I live, at some point everyday, with regret. It is a war I fight every single day. It's probably a war you fight every single day. Because I know what it's like to live with regret, it is my hope to help us through this paralyzing problem.
Regret causes people to do things that are extremely detrimental. Regret caused one of Jesus' disciples to commit suicide. That's right, regret led Judas to end his life. Regret causes thousands of people to end their lives every year. Yet, the church remains silent. I must admit, there have been days, especially over the last couple of years, when regret has completely gripped my life. Thankfully I have not taken my life, but it has sucked the life out of me.
As you know, forgiveness doesn't mean we are going to forget what happened. Though I have been forgiven, the devil desires that I never forget what I've done. He will use things such as people's words, my own thoughts, and circumstances to remind me of what I have done. It is as though he is always looking for a way to bring up my past failures. That's what he does. Maybe, even as you read this, he is doing just this to you.
I wish I could say I have the remedy for this problem. Just this past weekend I was paralyzed by my past. So, I'm still working through this myself. Here is what I've learned so far.
It's not God's will for us to leave in the past, but rather to learn from it. If we allow our past to define and dictate our future, we will never live the life God has for us.
The devil wants us to be defined by our past failures. The devil wants the exact opposite for you than what God wants. He wants to flood your mind and life with depressing and discouraging thoughts. He knows, if we do this, we will not accomplish what God wants for us.
Finally, life goes on. Whether we like it or not, life is not over after you fall. My life has continued to go forward no matter the circumstances in my past. There are people that depend upon my ability to get past my past and live on. Yes it's hard, but it's necessary. You have to find a way you can cope with the past.
Regret is real and dangerous. Let's no longer be silent about how wicked it is. Let's move forward for the glory of God.