Part II: Regret as a tool of progress and not a destination of despair
Regret stinks. And it stinks for so many reasons. Think about it - you do something and the result for whatever reason is just not good, so you end up deeply regretting that action. Now, it’s not enough to just look back over what happened and feel that twinge of pain just once - no, of course not. Because you have a deep regret, you get to play that experience over and over again in your mind. You get to feel the pain, experience the guilt and relive those messy choices, sometimes multiple times in one day! And guess what happens the next day and the next day and the next? See, regret stinks!
We are here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Really. What you need to do is to understand and apply few things and by so doing you can take your nasty and destructive regrets and actually transform them into practical tools to navigate your present and set up your future. Once you know the “what” and the “how” of the fix, all that will be left are the daily choices to apply the fix.
We walked through this whole thing in our two-part series “Will My Regrets Ever Leave Me Alone?” from April 10th and 17th, 2016. In these two broadcasts, we discovered some amazing and life-changing biblical principles that squarely focus on dealing with our regrets. These principles are revealed by the Apostle Paul, who was previously known as Saul of Tarsus and as anti-Christian as one could be before being converted by Jesus himself. The regret that Saul, now Paul, would have had to deal with was enormous, for he had persecuted, imprisoned and even sanctioned the murder of the very Christians he would spend the rest of his life serving. Jesus knows this and talks Paul through the process of managing his regrets so he would be able to focus on the critical work of spreading the Gospel instead of constantly reminding himself of how bad his past was.
It turns out there are five basic step-by-step principles that Jesus taught Paul to manage regret. Like any series of steps, the first few are really foundational and need to be securely in place before the rest can be applied. Accept and embrace the pain of your actions and assume responsibility are the first two steps we begin with to manage our regrets. Oftentimes we do these steps naturally, but the BIG problem is that we stop there and don’t apply the next three steps of transformation. Again, don’t stop there as it is hazardous to your well being!
Please check out “Will My Regrets Ever Leave Me Alone?” parts 1 and 2 from April 10th and 17th. Life can change if you know how to change it and these five principles just might help!
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