Regret as a tool of progress and not a destination of despair
(Click here for Part 2) Regret is one of those things that takes up residence in our heads and always seems to have a long term lease – it just does not want to go away. You know the drill - you do or say or think something that should not have been and then the regret loop starts. You play the scenario over and over in your head and each time you come up with the same old dusty conclusions - what was I thinking? How could I have been so stupid? If I only would have… Why didn’t I?… It is a nasty loop that sucks you in and doesn’t easily let you go. Ever.
There is good news! Regret can be treated, tamed and turned into something of immense value in life. You see, we need regret. What we don’t need is that painful repetitive experience that regret brings us. Regret left unmanaged ends up being a destination of defeat; whereas regret handled with focus discipline and the proper principles becomes a tool of growth. How do we know this? The Apostle Paul and Jesus showed us.
Let me explain: Before his conversion to Christianity, the Apostle Paul was known as Saul of Tarsus, a man who was dedicated to God and the Jewish Law but was living out that dedication in a warped, dark and evil way. He hunted down Christians - literally - he mocked them, imprisoned them and even had some of them killed. Then one day Jesus appears to him, tells him he is doing evil things and tells him to change. He changes and becomes a follower of Jesus. Now, think about the deep regret and guilt that Saul, now Paul, would have to live with - he had tried to destroy those who followed his own Messiah!
The best part of this unlikely conversion is that Jesus actually walked Saul through the principles necessary to make regret a tool of growth as he was calling him to convert. Jesus understood that Saul’s heart was good but his passion was evil, so Jesus talked Saul through not only changing his passion to match his heart, but making the inevitable regret of his former life and actions become tangible tools to build his new life and passion in Christ. This process Jesus brought to Saul is truly amazing and is a template for us to handle our regrets as well!
You owe it to yourself to check out our podcast, “Will My Regrets Ever Leave Me Alone Part 1." What you will find are the beginning steps necessary to take the misery out of regret and turn it into a tool of growth. Check it out - you won’t regret it!
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