Regret is a powerful emotion that overwhelms and paralyzes those who give it a home. Follow these four Bible steps to banish it from your life.
1 Timothy 1:12–17 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
We all make mistakes. We all have things we would do differently. The key is that you learn from your mistakes. Satan works to use the errors of our past to haunt us with never-ending pain. Sinful actions, foolish decisions, missed opportunities, mishandled relationships, etc. give him plenty of ammo to use against us. What is haunting you from your past? What emotional club does satan use to beat you with? What nagging regret is keeping you from moving on?
The Apostle Paul had a lot of reasons for regret. He was cheering at the stoning of Stephen the first martyr. He blasphemed Christ, hunted Christians, and facilitated their deaths. Yet, He found victory over regret. He used his past as a motivation for a better future. We can do the same following these steps.
1 Timothy 1:13 “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When you take the blame, God removes the guilt. Own your sin. Confess your faults and failures. Stop playing the blame game telling yourself, and everyone that will listen, that it wasn’t your fault. Perhaps it wasn’t all your fault, but there is your share of the blame that needs to be confessed. Some sins are committed “ignorantly” before salvation. Some are committed by backslidden Christians who know better after salvation. The answer is the same. Confess it. Forsake it. Learn from it. Move on in Victory.
1 Timothy 1:14–15 “And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
Faith in Jesus Christ gives victory over the penalty of sin! If you’ve never been saved, you are not only haunted by your past, but you are also under sin’s penalty in the future. Put your faith in Jesus Christ today for forgiveness and healing.
Many Christians are forgiven by God, yet have a hard time forgiving themselves for sins of the past. Don’t pretend that you’re standards are higher than God’s. Jesus’ sacrifice for you was enough to satisfy God’s perfect holiness. It is enough for you to forgive yourself. The Apostle Paul considered himself the chief of sinners yet saw Christ’s salvation as sufficient to save His soul and advance in triumph.
Sin hurts people. Its effects are real and lasting. We all wish we could go back and change some things. We can’t. However, we can give our pain, regret, and shame to God accepting His cleansing and trusting Him to bring good out of bad situations.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
1 Timothy 1:16 “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
It always helps to find a purpose for your pain. The Apostle Paul realized that God was going to use His sinful past to do a lot of good in the future. He will do the same for you.
God wants to show His longsuffering and love through your life. You can be a trophy of God’s power and grace. He will conform you to His image as you yield to Him. People who used to know “the old you” will see God’s undeniable work in you. He will get the glory!
Your life can be a pattern of victory for those who come from a similar background. God is no respecter of persons. If God helped you, He will help others who walk His path. Make the Bible your guide. Learn it. Obey it in all things. God will use you for His glory.
Learn from your past. Make amends when you can. Say you are sorry. Put actions to your words. However, you can’t change the past so don’t obsess over it. Beg God to make up the difference and use your shortcomings for His purposes. From this moment on, make your life what you wish it had been during the time of your regret.
1 Timothy 1:17“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Praise smothers regret. Regret fixates on our failures. Praise focuses on God’s victories. Worship crushes regret. Fill your heart with thanksgiving, and you will not suffer the ongoing pain of regret. You can’t change your past, but you can praise God that He brought you through it. You can thank Him that it wasn’t worse. You can honor Him for saving your soul. You can praise His Holy Name for all His benefits. Live a life of praise and regret will lose its hold on you. Praise Ye the Lord!
This Bible formula works. If you have been nagged by regret, you may have to fight it often at first. Don’t give it a place in your life. Follow these Bible steps each time regret rears its ugly head. God will deliver you from its clutches!