Do you regret things you have done or failed to do? Many people live by the mantra, “No regrets.” Is it possible to have no regrets? Let’s process for a moment. Regrets are often tied to guilt. Guilt is an emotion that was created. Who created guilt?
God. He crafted an alert system to help us understand when our behavior gets out of line with the character God put inside us. We can ignore our alert system and become a bit numb, but this is not a healthy response to experiencing guilt. This is maladaptive.
It is okay to regret past behavior if the behavior brought harm to yourself or others. We want to submit our lives to God, allowing ourselves and others to live as God intended.
Recently, I was thinking about some of the hard things I needed to do, feeling a bit defeated. I made a few calls and emails even though I didn’t feel like it. I called one person who said the topic I brought up seemed nice, but he wasn’t interested. I later told Chuck how I felt frustrated with myself because I recognized my imbalance. I could talk to 10 people who said an idea was amazing, but when one person wasn’t interested, I felt ready to quit, saying it must not be God’s will. I am more likely to make negative assumptions in a negative space, be less connected to my identity as a daughter of God, and focus more on my weakness than on God’s strength.
How do you react? When someone speaks a discouraging word into your life, do you retreat? The following question has helped me: What if it’s not personal? When someone rejects you, what if it says more about that person than about your abilities? Your efforts aren’t for every single person on the planet. That is God’s role. Your role is to help the people God put in your path.
None of us want to see our list of regrets grow larger, so we may choose to play small. Research shows people feel better about taking risks than playing it safe. When I think about times I’ve been bold for Christ, I do not feel regretful. I feel thankful that God helped me prioritize my role as a Christ-follower.
Every part of our lives should feel safe to involve God. He made us to work, play, and enjoy life in community with Him. This was much easier to do when He walked in the garden with His children, but one day, we will be reunited with God (Revelation 21:3). Let’s “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV), bringing Him into all of our many roles.
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