Published by Jerry Baysinger on 16 Mar 2012 at 11:01 am
Have you ever looked back and regretted something you did or said? Well, you’re not alone: I have, and so has everyone else. It’s one thing to be sorry for bad decisions, but another thing altogether to continue making them. Unfortunately, as creatures of habit, once we start doing something a certain way, it takes a lot of effort to undo that habit and establish a better one. That’s not to say it can’t be done, for it can if we have sufficient motivation. We are NOT powerless to change our lives for the better.
So many times I have heard heart rending stories of how people have been involved in certain things that they have been unable to stop doing, even though they really wanted to. Or so they thought. Like I said, it’s all about MOTIVATION. In other words, it’s doing such-and-such in order to achieve a greater goal that will bring much satisfaction at a later time. Now, if you’ve read this far, you are looking for a way to cure the old “wish I hadn’t done that” thing. The cure isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. It means changing the way we do things so we aren’t sorry later that we did them.
The Holy Bible is full of “making changes”. There are certain things in life that never change: taxes and death. But there are other things that are “changeable”, for we have power to change them. Regrets are things WE have the power to change, in that we don’t have to have regrets. Yes, you read that right, WE DON’T HAVE TO HAVE REGRETS!
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Now here’s a man with no regrets! Do you see him lamenting how he wishes he had done so-and-so differently? NO! He followed God’s course for his life, having been obedient to the letter, and now, with his departure from this life close at hand, he wasn’t saying, “Gee, I wish I hadn’t done that….” You have to realize that this same Paul was also known as Saul, B.C., that is Before Christ. He had stood as witness to Steven’s stoning, even holding the cloaks of those who were casting the stones. Looking back, after Saul himself was converted to become a disciple of Christ Jesus, he likely wished Steven had not been stoned, but like I said, his part in that stoning was B.C.
Paul’s statement above was made A.C., that is, After Christ became his Lord and Master, and Paul didn’t have any regrets anymore. And that would serve YOU and ME very well. What are we doing in our lives RIGHT NOW that we look back with regret upon? Paul had made the decision that whatever it took, he would obey God so he would have no regrets to look back upon later. And that’s where WE need to be. We need to live every minute of every day fully conscious of how our words and thoughts and decisions will affect us later.
I know people who love the LORD, yet, the flesh stubbornly keeps running their lives, and their words give them away. They have bitterness and unforgiveness deep in their hearts, and by the way they talk about others, they unknowingly reveal their heart. Do they have regrets? Yes, but they would never admit it, for they really don’t want to deal with the root issues.
At this point I will say they just aren’t sufficiently motivated by the reward of heaven. Oh, they want to be with the LORD alright, but not sufficiently at this time to do something about the things that are causing them to look back with regret. There are those who have been held back by pride, or unforgiveness, or lack of love, or failure to align their words with God’s Words, or any number of things. And they will be the first to admit that they wish they were doing things differently so as to be free from those things. But in their captivity to those things they fail to realize the power of the blood of Christ Jesus to help them change!!!
There’s an old hymn called “POWER IN THE BLOOD” that we need to sing more often, for we need to be reminded that we don’t have to stay in captivity to anything of the devil. The blood of Jesus HAS delivered us, DOES deliver us on a daily basis, and WILL deliver us, IF, and I say IF we apply His blood to our lives. You see, the Lord Jesus will not force Himself upon us. Now, I’m speaking to YOU: He will not save you against your will, nor will He heal you against your will. He will not MAKE you obey Him, nor act or speak in a way you don’t choose to. The wonderful thing about the blood of Jesus, is that it makes you FREE! That means, you can live free from those bad habits, and if you have regrets, it’s because you CHOOSE TO! Hello, anyone home? Yes, you read that correctly. If you have regrets after having come to Christ Jesus for salvation, it’s because you choose to have them. Christ Jesus overcame the devil, He broke the power of the devil to cause you to do anything against your will. You cannot say, “The devil made me do it…”
The reward of spending eternity with Christ Jesus should sufficiently motivate you to live your life in such a way that you never have to look back and have regrets. It should motivate you to forgive those who have sinned against you. When you forgive them, it’s really YOU who is getting free. How can that be? Well, it’s because it’s YOU that lays awake at night mulling over the things people have done to hurt you. It’s for certain THEY aren’t dwelling on it, for if they were, they would come to you and ask to be forgiven, so it’s YOU that is being held captive, and it’s YOU that wishes you weren’t so hurt, and it’s YOU that that have bad feelings about them. It’s YOU that can’t turn loose of the hurtful words they said, or the hurtful words that you said out of anguish.
And it’s YOU that has power to change it, isn’t that wonderful? What are the benefits of forgiving others? Well, for one, it’s wonderful for your health. Research proves that people who don’t harbor grudges are happier and healthier people. And if that isn’t enough, that leads to the next point: they don’t have to look back at the end of their lives and say, I wish I had forgiven them, for they already had. And in doing so, the relationship was healed, not only between them and that person, but between them and God. For you see, you cannot be right with God if you have not forgiven those who have hurt you. It doesn’t matter what they did or even if they continue to do it to this day. The important thing is that YOU are free, and that YOU have no reason to look back with regret. Jesus was MOTIVATED by heaven, enough to live without regret. How about YOU?
Does the thought of eternity with Christ Jesus motivate you enough right now to make a quality decision to live without regret? Do you love Him enough to stop doing those things that damage your relationship with Him and others? Do you love Him enough to copy His life, in other words, the WWJD thing? What Would Jesus Do? I’ll tell you what Jesus would do, for it says clearly in the Holy Bible what He did. He did only those things which pleased His Father in heaven. Are you ready to make that move? Let’s pray:
Father God in heaven, hallowed and Holy is Your name. Lord, thank You for the blood of Jesus shed for me, that I may always overcome according to Revelation 7:21. I worship You, for You are worthy. Father, I ask in Jesus’ name that You give me a clear knowledge of the high cost of living in regret. I ask You to empower me with the Holy Spirit so that I may always choose to obey You in all things, so that I may fight the good fight of faith, having no regrets to look back on later. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.