Turn Regret into Lessons of Praise

I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, - Ephesians 4:1

It is an amazing thing that God would save us from our sins. The call of salvation is one that calls us away from following our own sinful desires and to follow Jesus who loves us and gave His life for us. It is a continual growth process to live a life worthy of the call to be a child of God. When we commit to follow Jesus and are obedient to Him He gracefully shows us that it is good for us. But when we fail and follow the desires of our own selfishness it often leads to regret.

I would think that many of us can look back on our lives and wish we had done things differently. I believe we all have some regret over things we have done or should have done because we followed our own desires and not God’s desire for us. But I believe we can also look back and see the kindness of God towards us when we were obedient. I was thinking about this the other day and composed a short list of things I have regretted when I was selfish and contrasted them with contentment in following God’s commands.
  • I regret the time I have wasted not reading my Bible. I have never regretted the time I have grown to know The Lord in His Word. 
  • I have often regretted not encouraging others when I had the opportunity. I have always been blessed by encouraging others.
  • I regret not letting my kids fail under my supervision more. I don’t regret teaching them what failure feels like and how to deal with it in a God honoring way. 
  • I regret not giving faithfully and sacrificially of my finances to the ministry. I have never regretted the giving of my finances, even when I didn’t think I could. 
  • I often, even now, regret the time I neglect in prayer. I have never regretted the time I spent talking with God in prayer. 
  • I have often missed out when I was unwilling to serve others. I have grown to find joy in serving others. 
  • I regret the times I failed to hold my wife’s hand when I had the chance. I have never regretted holding her hand, even when she might not be so happy with me. 
  • I regret not telling the people I care about that I love them. I enjoy reminding those that I care about that I love them, even when it seems weird. 
  • I regret not forgiving others when I should have. I have never, not even once, regretted forgiving others of wrong because Christ’s forgiveness of me is so much greater. 
  • I regret not having Gospel conversations with people when obviously given the chance. I have never regretted sharing the truth of salvation in Christ alone, even when it was not accepted. 

These are just a few things that I have learned over my almost 50 years on this earth. I have many regrets but God, in His kindness has shown me how to take those regrets and turn them into lessons of praise. Like the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1, we are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling. To walk means forward progress, not staying where we are. May we consider our regrets, not live in them, but learn from them and turn them into lessons of praise. 

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