Understand

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.

Regrets

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

#4 Misconceptions About Sharing the Gospel

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Have you ever doubted your abilities or effectiveness as a witness? I’ll admit, I have. I want to discuss some misconceptions about sharing the Gospel that fuels fear in my heart and the hearts of others about witnessing. If you’ve struggled like I have with any of these, my intention is not to discourage you, but rather I pray you will be fully equipped to boldly take the Gospel of truth to the world.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

Before reading on, I encourage you to read the first entries in this series. Click here to access them:

#1: You must be good at it 

#2: Everything in your own life has to be together

#3: The only way to get someone saved is to invite them to church

#4: You have to make the gospel sound good

Scriptures

John 6:44 Romans 1:14-18 Romans 6:20-23 2 Timothy 4:2-5 1 John 4:1-6

Have you ever felt nervous about sharing the Gospel with someone? I have. I do. All the time.  I feel pressured to get it 100% correct and so I feel nervous. This nervousness can come from several places, but one main reason for that feeling is we are afraid they won’t understand or like what they hear. We’re fear rejection because of our beliefs. It may be tempting to try craft our words or analogies in such a way that the Gospel sounds more appealing and maybe not so harsh. 

This is the most dangerous misconception of all because when we change the main points of the Gospel, The Gospel loses its power. Paul is very clear on this issue in Romans 1:16. He makes the bold statement:

“ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”

The key phrase in this verse is he calls the Gospel “the power of God for salvation.” When we witness to someone, it more than just words we are speaking and sharing, we are literally becoming a channel of God’s power—we’re giving someone a spiritual truth that has the ability to alter their life, to alter their eternity.

The flip side is this: when we give a version of the Gospel that leaves out some of the truth of the Gospel (even the parts we know people won’t like), we offer them something that is half-hearted and filled with fear.

Apart from the Spirit of God revealing the truth of the Gospel to an individual, they can’t receive it any other way. The reason the watered-down Gospel “works” is because it appeals to a person’s fleshly nature, not to their spirit. Sadly, if someone accepts the Gospel because it sounds good to their flesh, then they really haven’t gotten it at all.  We do them a great disservice by doing this.

Saving people is Jesus’ job. Our job is to be His witnesses. We see the power of the Gospel at work when we choose to believe it is powerful, exactly the way God intended it to be. This is spiritual wisdom that God can use to change people’s lives—to change people’s eternity.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath, 2 comments