I Have No Regrets
Actually, I do. And, I hope you do to. The phrase, “I have no regrets” seems harmless, but it is often a symptom of a world that is humanistic and self-indulgent. Looming behind this proclamation for many is the conclusion that they have found all that they need through life’s experiences – good and bad. And, at the end of the day, they have risen to the occasion. They have survived! Perhaps with a few scars. But, those battles and failures were all necessary and important to get them to where they have arrived today.
We can all embrace some of the ‘no regrets’ philosophy in that we should strive to make the most of our days. Yes, we – hopefully – can learn from our mistakes. Yes, we often do rise to the top and find a sense of accomplishment when we’ve struggled through tough times. But, where did we get the strength to overcome? Where do we find our source of hope?
- Good luck
- Sheer determination
- or perhaps, Karma
As the mantra of ‘no regrets’ seeps slowly into the minds of the next generation, my spirit is increasingly unsettled. Why? Because, in its purest form, having 'no regrets' means that there is no sorrow or disappointments found in our personal life choices. There is no need to make amends for past mistakes or misdeeds toward others. There is no sense of wrongdoing, and thus no need to ask for forgiveness.
God’s Word is often diluted and misinterpreted within this philosophy to a simple statement of “All things work together for good.” (Which really doesn’t resemble the intended message of Romans 8:28 at all.) So, the conclusion is this: Good, bad, ugly - it’s all good. The danger in this utopian mindset is that a key element is missing. In an effort to justify all the bad that happens in the world and how good can be found in every situation, the adherent has been blinded of their need for a Savior.
Even when there is a form of ‘worldly sorrow’ it is of the nature in which one is regretful of being caught and is in fear of punishment. The consequences of the sin are of a temporary concern, rather than an acknowledgement of any significant wrongdoing. However, ‘godly sorrow’ is the beginning of true freedom. It doesn’t focus on the punishment for getting caught in sin, but instead leads to restoration. Paul puts it this way in 2 Corinthians 7:10a -“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.”
So, what about believers? Should we live within the ‘no regrets’ mindset or should we hold onto our regrets? Perhaps a little bit of both. With Christ, we have no regrets because our sins are forgiven and are not remembered against us. With Christ, we still have regrets (sadness and disappointment) because of the great price Christ paid to rescue and redeem us from the penalty that was fully ours to bear. With Christ, we do not live in an repressed manner, and yet we will still live with the consequences of past sin. With Christ, we live in humility and full knowledge of the sacrifices freely given to restore us to our Savior.
We are given life more abundantly because of all that our Savior has forgiven us of. We must not forget where we have come from even as we embrace the invitation to live in celebration of the sacrifice and love that God has lavished on us. Because of His great love for us, we are free from sin. And, free to live life beyond regrets.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1a