It happened again. You told yourself you would never do it again. Yet here you sit stuck with the consequences and the regrets of your actions. You thought if you reminded yourself enough times to…..
Not go to that website again;
Don’t talk to her like that;
Stop saying hurtful things to my kids;
Quit getting yourself in bad spots.
It would all end. You could finally live a life regret free. Despite your best efforts and pep talks, you still ended up repeating your mistakes. Now life feels like one big regret.
We have all been there. It’s the space where our behaviors don’t line up with our beliefs. Our actions feel like a roller coaster. One moment we are making forward progress, but in the end we always get right back to where we started.
How do we deal with all of this regret?
I’m not sure I can solve all of your struggles in one blog post, but I can at least point you in the right direction.
Acknowledge your regret.
“I don’t regret my past. Everything that has happened to me has made me who I am today.”
If I had a dollar every time someone said that phrase to me, I could retire today. That phrase, while seemingly helpful, actually hurts the person in the long run.
If you want to heal from your regrets, you must first acknowledge your regrets. Pretending they don’t exist doesn’t make them go away. It’s like pretending your bills don’t exist. One day you are still going to have to pay up.
Acknowledging the problem you are facing helps you come up with an actual solution.
2. Recognize the real issue.
Recently I was listening to a podcast where author and speaker Carlos Whittaker was interviewed. He and the interviewer were discussing this very topic. He gave an analogy that stuck with me. Listen to the interview to get the complete story (Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast).
Carlos said that Christians are most often worried about behavior management, but managing our behaviors is not the real problem. What’s going on below the surface is the real issue.
He said most of us prefer to knock down the cobwebs. Then a week or month later the cobwebs come right back in our life. The reasons the cobwebs keep coming back is because we never killed the spider.
So I ask you. What spiders are leading you to repeat the same regrettable actions? It’s time to kill the spiders. Don’t just knock down the cobwebs anymore.
3. Take your regrets to Jesus.
I love the apostle Peter. He reminds me that no matter how much I screw up, there is always hope. Peter denied Jesus right before his death. Yet Jesus still lovingly restored Peter.
Regret is a reality. There are moments we fail and don’t get it right. When that happens, we must acknowledge our regret and hand it over to Jesus to carry.
If you will choose to hand over your regrets to Jesus, he will replace them with hope and freedom. Paul says it like this:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus makes your life greater and makes you greater at life. This holds true for your regrets as well. Give them over to Jesus, and he will help you kill those spiders. If you want a life free of regrets, then you need a life committed to Jesus.
How do you personally deal with regret? Comment below with your thoughts
Know somebody who is struggling? Feel free to share this with them.