2 Corinthians 7:8-11
The NY Times ran a blog not long ago asking people to send in the one financial decision in their life that they would like to undo if they could. At first people stuck with the main topic, but then began mentioning other regrets. Some were funny, some very sad. A sampling:
Only one regret: I walked away from my wife after 22 years. Now it’s too late to return. I have only my own stupidity to blame for such a dumb mistake.
— Master Blaster
I would never have moved back in with my parents right after college, poor as I was. It set me back years emotionally.
Bumping into Bruce Springsteen one night in the parking lot of the Stone Pony getting out of his 68 Mustang Convertible on a beautiful summer night and the best thing I could manage to mumble was “Nice night, huh?”.
After a lifetime that included excesses and needless unkindness to others and too much self-generated angst . . . I wish I’d wagged more with others and barked less at them
I regret making fun of my friend for wanting our cancer support group to go to a movie together. “What? You don’t have your own friends?” I asked jokingly; fully intending to spend more time with her outside of the group. Before I could, she died after falling while weak from her cancer. I don’t think I fully appreciated how much she needed us. Or how much I needed her. RIP Sue.
Regret is one of those emotions that is necessary and natural… at least initially. One would not want to run in to a person that never experienced a regret. (That person would be a sociopath.) But excessive regret, according to today’s passage leads only to death. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and salvation (life!). And Godly sorrow is devoid of regret.
How does one rid themselves of regret? I will discuss what I think the best course of action is in my next post. But begin with repentance… feel sorrow for what you have done. But then after experiencing the forgiveness offered in Christ, learn to let it go. Let sorrow do its perfect work.