Leaving Regret Behind

Tuesday, July 6, 2021
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Listen while you read: "The Strife Is O'er"1 (Lyrics)

The words slipped out of my mouth, and I was instantly sorry, but I couldn't stuff them back in. Like the proverbial feathers, they had been scattered to the four winds, and couldn't be retrieved.

Scanning back over a lifetime, I — we all — have memories of actions or words that we'd rather forget. I am still chagrinned as I remember impetuous things that I've said or done, sometimes years and years ago. Thankfully, however, it is possible to leave hidden shame and sorrow with Jesus. We no longer need to feel guilt or fear judgment if we have genuinely confessed our sin fully to our just and righteous Judge.

Even healed wounds leave scars as reminders of the pain once suffered, but if scabs are picked or scratched before the healing is complete, healing can be delayed or completely thwarted. So it is with sinful actions that we regret. Don't fall into the trap of reviewing the past, endlessly thinking, "What if … ?" or "If only …". That's simply scab-picking, and it's totally unproductive, since what has already been done can't be undone. It is essential to fully confess and repent of the sin, and then leave it with Jesus to heal. Though a scar may remain as a wry reminder of our sin, we can be assured that it is forgiven. Don't keep going back and reviewing what should have been done differently. Once we take our sin to Jesus, confessing our guilt, we must accept His full forgiveness and then refuse to dig up — or repeat — that sin again.

Has regret for hasty words or embarrassment over shameful actions hindered you in your walk with Jesus? Consider what these comforting words from Scripture can mean to a guilt-ridden soul:

Psalm 103:8-14 – The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. (NLT)

How liberating it is to know that confessed sin is forgiven once and for all. Shameful actions of the past are not a burden to be carried for a lifetime. Will you take your burden of sin to Jesus to carry for you? Jesus died for the sins of the world. Your sins are not too much for Him to forgive.

Prayer: Dear loving and forgiving Father, thank You that You forgive our sins completely when we confess them to You. May we willingly confess our sins and then, just as willingly, accept Your full forgiveness. Amen.

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About the author:

Gail Lundquist <gail10833@gmail.com>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Gail.

    Great message, Gail.

    Thanks, Gail. I think you’ve been reading my mind!

    AMEN! Thanks, Lynne, for sharing this encouraging reminder. Blessings.

    O GAIL! How well-said, thoughtful, helpful, and exactly balanced in truth and action. Wonderful devotional! A keeper.

    Hello Gail
    Thank you for the reminder that we are forgiven once we confess and that is the end of it!!! I could have maybe used this scripture reading in my last submission on You’re Grounded.

    Good morning Gail,
    Such true words, and even though we know we are forgiven, it is amazing to me at least how things I have done many, many years ago, still float to the surface of my mind at times, or quite often.
    Thank you for your good words.

    Thank you, Gail. Your posts are appreciated. I find it interesting that the Geographic signature rings with me more than the names I don’t know. There have been several good posts from Beaverton in the short time I have subscribed to this devotional so again I express my gratitude. Keep well.

    Hi Gail, your devotional hit a resounding chord with me this morning. I continually remember words and actions, even from decades ago, I wish I could take back, and grieve for those I have hurt and offended. How great is the Lord’s Grace to forgive me and heal the wounds. Thank you for your role in the healing process!

    HI Gail,
    One of the most amazing aspects of Christianity is how we can be forgiven if we truly repent. I still remember two things so vividly that I wish I could just erase (there were certainly more things to be forgiven, but…). These two things will never leave my mind even though I know that having asked for forgiveness it has been granted.
    Thanks once more for your devotional.
    Hopefully you have air conditioning in your new surroundings. The temperatures you have been having are high even for Texas.

    Dear Gail,
    Thank you for this very thoughtful and meaningful devotional today. We need be so grateful to our loving and ever caring Lord who is so willing to forgive our misdeeds. We can have a secure feeling that when we confess our sins to Him and ask His forgiveness, He willingly cleans our slate. Knowing that He forgives our past wrong doings encourages us to go forward and refrain from sinful behaviour.
    Blessings for thoughtful writings.

    Good morning Gail,
    How true the words of your devotional are. If we truly believe in Jesus, we should be able to let go of the things we have confessed. It does take work for most of us to be able to do this, but we can succeed. Thank you for the most encouraging Bible verse to support your words. May we all practice not picking our scabs. May we all practice letting go the words that others might sling at us the same way that Jesus would forgive them. May you have a day filled with peace, love, and forgiveness.

    Thank you for this Devotional. It resonated with me and many others I suspect.
    I’m 67 and it’s only recently that I FINALLY got it about the very real dangers to our souls of ‘looking back’ on our failures and sins.
    The first danger is the damage we cause ourselves through our inward words. Words have great power as we well know from the effects of our own foolish, hurtful, or thoughtless words to others. If we are sorry for the pain our words have caused others, why are we oblivious to the harm to ourselves by our constant self-beratement?
    Secondly, this ‘scab picking’ is really based in a lack of faith in the word, promises, and inheritance which is ours through Jesus Christ. It’s telling God, “Your Son’s sacrifice wasn’t enough for me.” Our real sin here is becoming ‘the accuser of the brethren’. We have sided with Satan and have ‘chosen’ to attack ourselves rather than ‘accept’ the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice. This is one sin we cannot afford to confess; disbelief in Jesus’ sacrifice.
    Forgiveness is a choice, whether toward others or ourselves. We may not feel it at first, but we must ‘work’ on it, by proclaiming the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice until it ‘becomes’ real in our hearts and minds. Then, and only then can our souls be free.
    And yes, though I understand this truth, I STILL have to work on it.
    Have a blessed day steeped in His Presence upon you.

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