I was having a conversation last night with two friends about regret. The question put to me was – “do you have any regrets”. My answer was no.
Now that’s not to say that there aren’t times that I look back on my life and wonder what it would have been like if I had made a different choice – but I do not regret the choices that I have made. Here’s why…
My parents raised us with a high level of personal accountability. Mom said everything in life is a choice – even not choosing is a choice. And, she said that if you were going to do something, choose those things you didn’t need to hide from your family, your friends and most importantly yourself. She told me once that if I wasn’t hoss enough to say I did it, then I didn’t need to be doing it. And, I took that to heart. Dad said that if you couldn’t be at peace in making a choice you shouldn’t make it. It took me a long time to realize that being at peace did not mean being satisfied with the status quo or settling for less than what you want or deserve. It simply meant that you could live with the outcome or consequences of a choice. And so I set out in life to look for the choices that would allow me to have peace of mind and that I would not be ashamed of.
Additionally, I have come to believe that as a Christian – to have regrets does not honor God. If I am going through my Christian life praying and striving to be in the center of God’s will – and making choices I believe I am led to make – how can I regret them? Isn’t that like saying that God misled me? And if I earnestly make a mistake in following God’s will for me and regret it – does that not question the grace God has to cover my mistakes? The Bible tells us that God can bring good from any circumstance. If I regret the circumstances in my life – does that not cast doubts on whether I believe God is big enough to fulfill that promise?
I am who I am because of where I’ve been, the choices I have made, the mistakes, the trials. To regret my past is to regret who I am today. And, I don’t. That’s not to say I don’t have a lot to learn and that I do it right every time. But isn’t it nice to know that God has the grace and mercy to cover me, warts and all?
Pastor Dave says that God’s mercy protects us from what we do deserve and His grace gives us what we can never deserve. I love that.