Dealing With Regrets
By Gregory Baker
In the years that I have been a Pastor, the strongest
regrets I have encountered are those from people who
lost a loved one to death. I hear comments like, 'I
wish', 'if only', 'it's not fair', 'why?', and so many
others. These regrets can consume a person to the point
where he or she becomes paralyzed by them, living in
guilt and frustration.
Most of us have regrets. We regret a missed opportunity
or a wrong committed sometime in the past. These are
sometimes strong regrets and sometimes minor ones. No
matter the case, dealing with regrets is something that
each of us has to do.
REGRETS SHOW THAT YOU CARE
If you had no regrets, you would not care. In the case
of the death of someone dear and close, I would be
bothered by someone who claims kinship or friendship
with the departed and yet has no regrets. Regrets
demonstrate the level of love and care that we have for
such a person. Regrets also demonstrate that we are now
fully aware of the missed opportunities.
So in a very real sense, regrets are good. If you didn't
have any regrets you would be calloused, or simply
unaware of the opportunities that have slipped you by.
NEVER WALLOW IN REGRETS
Regrets have a lamentable attraction to feel the need to
wallow in them. We flay ourselves with these regrets
like some sort of whip on our guilty conscious. Guilt
and regrets are God given responses to teach us lessons.
Wallowing in them is counterproductive.
If you lost someone dear, you'll want to wallow in your
own self pity and focus on your regrets. But that robs
the person you love of all the other things they
accomplished in life. You focus only on what you didn't
do with them instead of them.
Regrets are selfish. They can teach us things, they even
demonstrate that we care. But wallowing in them is
purely a selfish endeavor. It keeps us from living. It
keeps us from realizing all the things that we did do or
USE THE LESSONS THAT REGRETS TEACH
Regrets show us that we can't afford to miss any more
opportunities. If you lost someone close to you, don't
let your regrets keep you from those still alive. Take
the lessons that you learned and try not to miss any
Spend more time with others. Ask yourself, if so and so
died today, what regrets would I have? Then go out and
do something about it. Regrets allow us to realize what
is most important in our lives.
Your regrets ought to show you where your values are.
Use that. As a Christian, I use regrets as motivation. I
regret some of the things I have done in my life. I
regret some of my choices. But having a loving and
forgiving God allows me focus on what I can still
accomplish, the things I can still do, and the choices
that are still before me. Regrets can be very
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