Is regret messing with your peace? Is your regret so painful that you’d like to erase a part of your past? Let’s look at regret — what it is, the two main types, and how to move from regret to restoration.
Regret is feeling sorrow or remorse for something you did or failed to do. Sometimes regret becomes disappointment. This feeling of regret can be turned toward God as you seek him In your pain. Or it can become discontentment, even despair.
Discontentment is an ugly response to regret. It describes a person’s “dissatisfaction with what God is going in his life at them moment, a self-righteousness that says he knows better than God, or a self-pity that sees himself as the undeserving victim f unfair circumstances,” wrote Dr. Ron Allchin, D.Min., executive director of Biblical Counseling Center.
Regret Due to Human Error
Regret may result from an honest though awful mistake. Dr. Erwin Lutzwer shared the story of a missionary airplane mechanic with an excellent service track record. One day while tightening a bolt, he was called away before he finished. He forgot to return and complete the bolt tightening.
The consequence of this one mistake proved disastrous. The plane took off. Gasoline leaked from the place where the bolt was loose. The plane caught on fire and all seven people on the plane died. Without a doubt, this mechanic wished he could erase the past. He feels deep regret.
Regret Caused by Deliberate Disobedience
This type of regret grows out of disobedience. You choose a certain path that you know is wrong. The Holy Spirit impresses on your heart the your ugly choice rubs against God’s will but you continue on.
He denies knowing Jesus Christ three times then the rooster crows, as Jesus predicted, and Peter weeps tears of regret and emotional pain.
And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72, ESV
A few other examples of regret include feeling sorrow or remorse after committing adultery, lying, stealing from an employer, cheating on a test, and recognizing you spent too much time at the office and not enough time with your family.
2 Steps to Restoration
1. Bring it into the open.
Pushing down the past smothers you. Did you know that the more you try not to think about the regret, the more focus you direct toward it?
God’s plan for moving forward requires facing the past and acknowledging the sin, the pain, and the fallout.
2. Move forward.
To move forward means forgiving, repeatedly if necessary, letting God deal with those who have sinned against you, and continuing to respond in a godly way regardless of how they behaved.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19, ESV
When you choose God’s solutions, an upward and forward movement begins! It’s time, don’t you think, for a fresh start? Christ and His Word will move you in the right direction if you let Him!
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:22-24, ESV