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Forgiving Our Regrets

by | Nov 28, 2022 | Forgiveness, Regret

Are there events in your life that you have trouble forgiving yourself for? Things you wish you could change? In other words, do you have regrets? I think it goes without saying, that if you’re human, you most assuredly do. In the book of John, Chapter 16:33, John says, “Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows.” (NIV) Well, suffice it to say, I believe John was bang-on.

I’m 60 years old at the time of writing these words. Six decades of life and living, and yes, I’ve notched a few regrets along the way. As you know, our lives resemble a wonky teeter-totter. Jubilant one minute and then WHAM; heartache, pain and worry the next. It’s a truly vicious cycle. I’ve read that it takes nine positives to outweigh one negative. In other words, we tend to ponder on the negative aspects of our lives, instead of all the wonderfully positive things we’ve done and accomplished for ourselves and for those we love and care about. 

Speaking from experience, I’ve said things in my life I wish I could take back. I’ve gone down paths that lead nowhere. I’ve lost my job, twice, and more recently I fulfilled a life-long dream of publishing a novel—a 7-year writing journey and a story I’m very proud of. Over the past few weeks, a book reviewer published a review of my book and stated that he loved the narrative, but the words inside harbored grammatical imperfections, which for me as a perfectionist, was a very bitter pill to swallow. I came down hard on myself for allowing this to happen, when all along during writing and editing, I dreamed of launching an error-free book.

By nature, we are flawed and sinful. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23) But the coolest part of John 16:33 says, “But take heart because I have overcome the world.” (NIV) Jesus is truly all that matters. His love for you, and me, regrets and all is all that matters.

If you suffer from self-reproach, lay it all before God. Ask Him to heal your wounds and to swap out your imperfections with heavenly peace. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 NIV)

Paul Smyth


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