Season: 8 Episode: 110
How do we live without regret? Many people regret what they’ve done or didn’t do. They experience remorse over fights, words spoken and careers they settled for. Shanda talks about the one thing that helps us restore things we’ve lost and to live with no regret!
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Hey guys! Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and are ready for what God is going to do in 2022. I am excited and confident that God is with us and He will guide us and give us strength to walk in His ways this year.
Today, I have an episode for you that I am really excited to talk about and I hope it encourages you and causes you to think a little about how to face this year.
Before we get into that, I want to remind you of the dailytext.bible.
This is the last time I’ll be mentioning them so get this while you can. I’ve been trying them out for the last couple of months and I get a new bible verse every morning as soon as my alarm goes off to wake me up. If you want to give a gift to someone that is encouraging and affordable or start the new year off with God first, go to www.dailytext.net and subscribe. It’s only a monthly fee of $4.99 and you get a free 30 day trial Again, that is dailytext.net for a free 30 day trial and only $4.99 a month. Link will be in the show notes.
Also, the online classes are going to begin in a few weeks, so don’t forget to sign up for that if you’re thinking about it because the classes cap at 20. AND … something new. Drumroll please … I’m on Youtube providing short 5-minute videos so check it out at Shanda Fulbright there.
Ok, so how do we live with no regrets? Many people regret things they’ve done or didn’t do. They regret words they’ve spoken, fights they’ve had, careers they’ve settled for. That’s what happens as we live life.
But as I’ve lived for a bit, I realized there are 3 R’s that often arise when we want a redo.
They are regrets, remorse and repentance. All of those things involve something we want to do again or regret what’s been done. How do we remedy it and ensure it doesn’t happen again? That people don’t get hurt or we don’t end up settling?
I think the answer is going to surprise some but encourage all. Because it’s not something we hear a lot in the American church. The answer will help a lot of people stop repeating the errors of yesterday so we don’t end up with regret.
So today, we’re going to talk about:
- Regrets and why people have them
- Remorse and why it stems from emotion
- Repentance: why this is what keeps us from regrets and remorse.
So what is regret and why do people come to the end of their lives with much of it?
Per the American Heritage Dictionary, regret is to feel sorry, distressed or remorseful. You can regret decisions, or even decisions you didn’t make. It’s basically wanting a do-over.
I remember speaking at a women’s conference a couple of years ago and I shared that the prefix “re” was not part of our vocabulary until the fall. Think about it … we didn’t need one. Everything was good.
But after the fall, we needed a redo, a retry, a repeat because we have remorse and regret but what we really need is to repent. And if you notice, you’ll see that tiny little prefix that is packed with so much depth. And one that was never really supposed to be in our vocabulary.
It’s the prefix RE. That little prefix packs a big punch. It means to do again. It means to bring back to the original place or condition. But there are many things in life that will not allow us to restore … especially not without God.
And regret doesn’t restore anything.
According the the MBG blog (I’ll link the article in the show notes), people have regrets at the end of their lives for the following reasons:
- They wish they were more loving to the people that matter in their lives.
- They wish they had been a better spouse, parent, child
- People wished they hadn’t spent more time working.
- They wish they had taken more risks
- They wish they had been happier and enjoyed life more.
- People wish they had lived their dream.
- They wish they had taken better care of themselves
- They wish they had done more for others
- People wish they had chosen more meaningful work.
Notice what’s not on this list: things!
It’s all about how people used their time on this earth and how they treated others. That’s it. And guess what? There is no redo if you wait until the end of your life to change these things. Why live with regret over time and decisions you have today?
Regret goes both ways … it’s experienced over things we have done and over things we didn’t do. Everyone will experience regret. We’re human and as I stated, it’s now a part of life after the fall. I’m sure Adam and Eve regretted their decision to eat the forbidden fruit immediately after they took a bite because they looked down and felt shame over their nakedness. We know it must have been regret and not repentance because they hid from God.
Regrets come in all shapes and sizes and some regrets are more damaging than others. One example we have in the Bible (and there are more than this one) is Peter when he denied Jesus. The Bible tells us he denied Jesus three times and when He heard the rooster crow, he realized what he’d done and wept bitterly.
The bitter weeping was the deep regret he felt.
Peter had every intention on dying for Jesus, but he couldn’t even admit he was with Him. Peter failed and he couldn’t handle it. But … hold on tight for this because I’m going to expand on it more at the end … Jesus gave Peter a redo for this one. How? Hang with me.
Do you know who else wept bitterly over regret? Esau. He sold his birthright to his brother, Jacob, and once he realized Jacob deceived their father for it, he wept bitterly because he regretted what had been done. However, he wasn’t repentant.
The sad part about regret is that it robs and does not give restore. Regret doesn’t change anything because it only leaves you bitter, not better. Regret brings sorrow because it keeps us looking back.
So what do we do about regrets, both to make sure we don’t look back and hope we don’t have repeated regret in the future? I’ll tell you, but first let’s talk about remorse.
What is remorse and why is it related to emotion?
The definition of remorse is moral anguish arising from repentance for past misdeeds; bitter regret. synonym: penitence.
Basically, remorse is sorrowful. It brings either a godly sorrow that leads to repentance or worldly sorrow that leads to death. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and had earthly sorrow that led him to hang himself. He regretted what he did but without repentance.
Esau regretted selling his birthright to Jacob and was sorrowful but without repentance.
King Saul had earthly sorrow over losing the kingdom but not sorrow over his disobedience to God that led to repentance.
Are you starting to see why regret and remorse don’t bring change? Because they must lead us to God. They must lead us to repentance. The Bible tells us to repent and be saved, not to have remorse and be saved; not to have regret and be saved. In fact, God doesn’t want us living in constant anguish over past sins. He made a way for us not to.
And that brings me to repentance.
Repentance: why is this what keeps us from experiencing regret and remorse?
In the Bible, repent means to change ones mind. True repentance results in a change of actions. In Luke 3, John said to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. That means there is evidence of a repentant heart because repentance produces fruit … it leads to a turning away from sin.
Got Questions says it this way: “repentance is a full change of mind that results in a full change of action.”
So what does that look like and how do we do it?
Our culture has taken away the shame of sin. I posted a quote a few months ago that said there are three steps to a godless society:
1. Call nothing a sin.
2. Where there is no sin there is no sinner.
3. No savior is needed where no sinner is found.
Repentance is a word we don’t like to talk about because it draws attention to our imperfection.
It shows our need for a savior which reveals the fact that we are all sinners. In a culture that is easily offended and nurtures feelings, repentance has become taboo.
The reality is that we cannot accept Christ without repentance. We must reject our sin, admit we’re sinners and embrace the Savior. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “For godly sorrow leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly sorrow leads to death.”
We can only accept Christ by faith when we reject our sin. Christ is the savior who died for the sinner. Again, Got Questions says this, “While repentance is not a work that earns salvation, repentance unto salvation does result in works. It is impossible to truly change your mind without that causing a change in action.”
So what does repentance look like? First, it grips the heart. Now remember, regret and remorse grip the heart too. But remorse yields bitterness unless it’s a godly sorrow. I often think of it in the same way David did: he did not want to sever his relationship with God. He was a murderer, an adulterer and had terrible family disfunction YET, God says he was a man after His heart because David owned his sin and repented. In fact, David was sorrowful because he did not want to displease God. He said in Psalm 51:11, “Do not cast me from your presence nor take your Holy Spirit from me.”
Read all of Psalm 51. You know what, I’m just going to read it to you:
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
There it is: Godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Repentance starts in the heart. We must recognize our sin before a holy God and confess it. David confessed who he was and what he’d done and told God he was a righteous judge for convicting David of it.
And that leads me to the other part of repentance: confession.
To confess means a formal statement of someone admitting guilt of a crime. Isn’t that powerful? 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals his transgression will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will bring mercy.”
There are many verses about confessing sin and the faithfulness of God to forgive.
In reality, if you want to live without remorse or regret … well, I hate to disappoint you but it’s inevitable. But I will say that out of the 3 R’s: regret, remorse and repentance, only one of those offer change for the better. Only one will keep you from making the same mistakes over and over again so that there won’t be a “next time.”
Don’t be afraid of that word. The enemy will whisper that God won’t forgive you or that your sin is too much for God to forgive. All lies! God sent His Son Jesus for this very reason because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We will never clean up our own mess, and will never be good enough on our own.
We will have remorse and we will have regret, but I can tell you about one more R that only God can provide that those things cannot do… the word is RESTORE.
To restore means to bring back or to reinstate.
David said, “Restore to me the joy of my salvation” …. Bring it back, Lord!
Do you want God to restore some things in your life? Are you tired of living with remorse and regret that never produces change? Then repent. Confess it to a God who can bring it back to its original state.
This life will cause us to want re-do, re-fill, re-wind and re-charge … but only God can re-store as you and I repent.
He is a good God and works all things together for our good. So remember as you head into 2022: don’t live with regret or remorse. Embrace repentance and God will provide restoration.
Don’t forget to sign up for the online classes starting soon and please leave a 5-star rating and review as we head into 2022 that will hep the podcast get into the earbuds of others.
Happy New Year and I’ll catch you on the next one!