If Only I Had…​ — Regret

We all know the old saying, "Hindsight is 20/20". There’s not a one of us who hasn’t looked over our shoulder and questioned a decision or action committed in the past. Mistakes, misjudgments, tragedy and missed opportunity filled our memories and worry our minds. "If only I had…​", begins a sentence of regret, wishing we had chosen a different path and perhaps the end results would have been different.

Regret is certainly one of the ironies of life because we learn and grow from those mistakes and missteps yet they are the things which make us sorry for the past! The first time we read of regret in the bible is in Genesis 6:6. Because of mankind’s evil ways God was sorry that he had created such an unruly being. Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes the writer expresses much regret as to spending his life working, building and saving only to pass it on to someone else after he dies. Judas regretted the decision to betray Jesus and even though he repented, the pain was such that he took his own life.

Why would God give us such a worrisome emotion? Because regret causes us to realize our need for change and the need for God’s forgiveness and His salvation. (2 Cor. 7:10) If I never felt remorse for my wrong doing I would never see the need to be obedient to God. Those who are accused of crimes have lawyers to be their advocates when facing judgment. You and I have an Advocate in Jesus Christ who goes to God on our behalf at the point of regret and confession.

"If only I had done things differently." Holding on to regret can weigh heavy on the heart but we must remember that Philippians 3:13 encourages us to let go of the past and move toward the future. A future filled with God’s love, forgiveness and eternal reward.

Jay Launius 2019 Maud church of Christ Maud, Texas