Release Your Regrets

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Once you have recognised your regret for what it is, you are then ready for the next step: release your regrets. Ask yourself these five questions:

Regrets, Regret, Pain

Do you regret committing a sin?

Your regret may have been something you did that put distance between you and God. Letting go of that regret will require repentance and proceeding in a different direction. Repentance is relational. Repentance leads to forgiveness and brings you back into an intimate relationship with God.

Do you regret hurting someone else?

If your regret is the result of hurt you caused to someone else, you have to do your best to bring healing to the wound you’ve inflicted. If possible, apologise to the person and ask forgiveness. If there are circumstances that make this impossible, you have to forgive yourself and pray that reconciliation may be possible later.

Do you regret a mistake you made?

Sometimes you have made a tactical blunder, or committed an error in judgment, but it wasn’t a sin. It was an honest mistake or accident. So you don’t need to ask God’s forgiveness for it. You need to let yourself off the hook. Remind yourself that it is something to learn from, not something to torment yourself over.

Do you regret being hurt by someone else?

If somebody else has done something wrong to you, the answer is easy – forgive him/her. Easy to say, right? Usually hard to do. Sometimes the deeds that have been done to you were unbelievably cruel and hurtful, and it might take some time before you get to a point where you’re genuinely ready to forgive.

Do you regret pain you feel from life’s circumstances?

You developed a chronic illness. A hurricane swept away your home. Sometimes there is no one to blame for the regret you feel, it’s merely life’s circumstances that have caused your regret. Here is a word of caution: resist the temptation to blame God. He is never the author of evil. He grieves right alongside you and he wants you to share with him how you are feeling.

When you have done something wrong, or when something undeserved has happened to you, it’s easy to get hung up in guilt, blame, and grudge-holding. The questions and emotions inside you can prevent you from moving past your regrets and moving in a new direction. If regret has become a useless burden around your neck, drop it. Let it go. Release it.

Reflection

What do you need to do in order to release your regret? Do you need to forgive someone? Yourself? What is one step you can take toward releasing your deepest regret?

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 0 comments

Recognise Your Regrets

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I have been thinking of regrets lately and I hope to take my experience with empowering you to respond constructively to any type of regret. Recognise your regrets for what they are. What exactly is it that you are feeling badly about? Have you either underestimated or overestimated how serious it is? What power does it have or not have to effect your future? We need to answer these questions if we want to start over.

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Easy Right?

That seems like simple advice, doesn’t it? Maybe too simple? Yet the human mind has some reflexive responses to powerful emotions – such as regret – that can make it hard to honestly face reality.

For that reason, here are two don’ts and one do when it comes to taking stock of your own regrets.

Don’t dwell on your regrets.

Up to a point, mentally rehearsing something that happened might be helpful to you. You want to learn from your regrets so it’s good to analyse and try to understand what really happened. But too often you go way beyond performing a “helpful” analysis by replaying it in your mind over and over again until it takes up far more of your attention than it merits.

Ephesians 5:8-13. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

Don’t hide from your regrets.

What may be more dangerous than thinking too much about your regrets is not thinking about them at all. That is a huge mistake! In many ways, you try to ignore or escape from your regrets. You don’t face them at all – or at least you don’t face them truthfully.

Face your regrets head-on.

If you have been dancing around your regrets, trying to pretend they’re not there, or given your regrets so much power you can’t even see them plainly, you’ve got to stop. You can’t change what happened in the past, but you can change what you do in response from here on out. Your choice of response is all-important for your future.

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Never doubt

God does not want to leave you crushed under the weight of your regrets. That’s why you have to ask God to give you the courage to face your regrets and stare them down until they lose their power over you.

When you do that, your regrets won’t be a finish line, they’ll be a starting line!

Reflection

Is your deepest regret the result of something you did or didn’t do? Was it something that was done to you? What is keeping you from facing your deepest regrets head-on?

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.


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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 0 comments

Loving Your Regrets

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Regrets. We all have them. It may be something you wish you hadn’t done, or a missed opportunity where you didn’t take action and wish that you had. It might be something that was done to you; you were the victim, yet you still feel regret.

The Sorry Cycle

Whether it’s something from last week, last year, or decades ago, you long to make things right – to change direction, to begin again. Yet somehow your attempts to fulfill this longing elude you.
This constant back-and-forth between longing and regret is the “Sorry Cycle.” It’s a pattern many of us live with every day.

Some people have bigger regrets, or dwell on their regrets more than others, but everybody has them.

Mentally rehearsing your regrets over and over in a Sorry Cycle gets you nowhere. Moreover, it does you a lot of harm.

What to do?

Here is some advice that may sound strange:

Don’t regret your regrets.

That’s right – don’t regret your regrets! Learn to love them because they can teach you how to pursue a life you don’t need to regret. Your regrets also help you grow – don’t repeat them, learn from them!

Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly. It reminds us that we know we can do better.”

Negative Feedback

The Sorry Cycle is negative feedback. Through unhealthy rumination, you let your regrets route back to your deeply felt longings in a way that often leads you to make even worse decisions than you did before. The results are about as pleasant as the squeal of a PA system when the sounds coming out of the amp feeds back through a microphone.

However, regrets don’t have to produce negative feedback. If you are mindful of what you are doing with your regrets, you can ask God to help you make different choices that turn those regrets into positive feedback.

2 Corinthians 7:8‭-‬11 “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.”

Danish philosopher Soren Keirkegaard once said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

The Challenge

Take up the challenge to see regret, not as something to regret, but as something to love because it is priceless feedback that allows you to better understand your life.

Romans 8:21‭-‬22 “that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Devotional, 0 comments