“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Do you experience the sick feeling of regret? It shakes you from your sleep or it bullies your thoughts by day. It may be new to you or the same regret has been haunting you for years. Do you wonder, “Will I ever move past my regret?”
Regret is defined as a feeling of sorrow, remorse, a sense of loss, fault, or disappointment. I see regret as falling into one of two categories. The first category comes as a result of our fault and neglect, the second category is the result of personal loss and disappointment.
Regret due to fault and neglect includes our sinful or negligent choices, and we are reaping the consequences in our lives. It hurts and we feel sick about it.
Worse than our own inner turmoil, is being aware that our actions have had negative repercussions on our loved ones. When our regretful actions involve the most significant people in our lives, our remorse runs deep. The regret over our choices play like a bad dream over and over in our heads.
What can free us from this taunter ?
Jesus Himself, our great High Priest, invites us to receive His mercy. God chose to take on flesh and walk among men and women. He experienced every temptation, yet was without sin. He took our sins upon Him and suffered death on the cross. He did this so we can have forgiveness and a relationship with God. This is why we can approach His throne-His presence-with confidence, because it is a throne of grace! When we move into His presence, confessing our sin, we receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (check out Hebrews 4:14-16).
Let grace and mercy replace your regret
Grace is God’s constant and unfailing faithfulness to His promises and to His people. It includes His unconditional love and acceptance of you. You can neither earn it or lose it.
Mercy means to bend or stoop in kindness. Mercy shows favor and graciousness. It flows from the loving-kindness of God. Both grace and mercy are the very nature of God.
Wouldn’t you love God to replace your regret with His grace and mercy? You aren’t able to fully embrace it for yourself until you face your actions head on with Jesus. But, we put it off. We harbor the guilt and carry the baggage of regret. We allow regret to make its home in our life, and drag it along through the years.
Maybe we think God will be angry with us. Maybe it is too painful to rehash your regrets in His presence. But, isn’t it time? I like these words from my BFF, Christie Lee Rayburn, “The road to forgiveness is simple–it is our sin that is complex. We spend our lives reversing the two.”
Don’t let the possible “simplicity” of God’s cleansing keep you from it. Regret saps you of freedom and years of life. It is time to sit at the throne of grace and let our compassionate Savior, Jesus, cover you with His mercy.
It is time to deal with it
Go find a quiet place in your home. Get on your knees (you don’t have to, but I find it helps me to humble my heart - as if kneeling at the throne), and confess what needs to be confessed. Accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself. Ask Him to cover you with His goodness.
Aaaahhhh…..that feels so good.
Now embrace it. God promises every one of us, when we confess our sins, He will always be faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). That means You—Are–Clean.
Soak in those words.
You-not the other guy you think is more deserving.
Are-God’s Word doesn’t say He might cleanse you of all unrighteousness. It says He will.
Clean-that means you don’t pick the garbage back up tomorrow after you have trashed it today. Leave your garbage at the throne.
It’s a new day! Don’t look back, my friend. “Will I ever get past my regret?”–It is up to you now. You have the opportunity to walk in newness of life today.
Consider this tough question: Once we are free from the remorse and condemnation of our actions, can we ever get past the pain of loss?
This is part 1 of a 3 part series on Regret. Next, we’ll look at Regret due to loss and disappointment. We’ll talk about whether regret is ever good.