This morning I have to go to the oral surgeon and get two wisdom teeth out. I am petrified! I dislike going to the dentist more than any other appointment because I am so scared. I know it will be quick and I won't remember a thing but I still dread it. For the past month I have said 1000 times, "I regret not having them all taken out at 23!" I do not know why I need to keep saying that when there is nothing I can do about it now! The other day I caught myself and decided to start saying, "thank You, God, for working this all out." That has actually brought me peace.
Don't we, all, carry regrets with us? We, all, say, "I regret that" even when we know there is no going back. Regret is really a form of punishment. The mental torment can paralyze a Christian. We lose our confidence in ourselves and in God. We cannot live in the freedom God has for us. 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Regrets can come in the form of having done something or not done something. These feelings of thinking we should have tried harder, stayed calm, not fought back, kept our mouths shut, not cheated, been selfish, stayed away from, not spent the money, prayed more, etc are not from God. What is really crazy is we do not stop there. We begin to "what if". What if I had tried harder, what if I had fought harder, what if I had kept my mouth shut, what if I had studied, what if I would have helped someone, what if I had been present, what if I had saved my money, what if I had spent more time with God. We are wasting our time and our energy because we can not go back in time. We are wasting today also because we are not in the moment - we are living in the past!
The Bible is our life instruction manual and it says to rid ourselves of regret. 2 Corinthians 7: 10, "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." Life does not have a rewind button. We are to bring our regrets to the Cross. We can turn our regrets over to God and turn them into repentance. Then, and only then, can we move forward. Philippians 3: 13, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,"
Billy Graham shared, "When Bill Borden, son of the wealthy Borden's, went out to China as a missionary, many of his friends thought he was foolish to “waste his life,” as they put it, trying to convert a few heathens to Christianity. But Bill loved Christ and he loved men! He hadn’t been out there very long before he contracted an oriental disease and died. At his bedside they found a note that he had written while he was dying. It read, 'No reserve, no retreat, and no regrets.'” Bill had found more happiness in his few years of sacrificial service than most people find in a lifetime."
Isn't that what we want to be able to say when we die? We have no reserve, no retreat and no regrets! It is time to live in the moment.