Are you living with regret over the time you’ve wasted, the opportunities you’ve squandered, the sins you’ve committed, and the relationships you’ve destroyed? Regret is a waste of time, unless it teaches you wisdom and fuels your resolve to do better next time. And as long as you’re breathing, there will be a ‘next time’. The Bible describes God this way: ‘Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.’ So how should you handle regret? By doing three things: 1) Recall. Stop and consider the actions, thoughts, and emotions that drove you to do what you did. Take an honest inventory of your mistakes. Own them! There’s no solution in excuses. When Adam was confronted with his sin, he hid in the bushes. When David was confronted with his, he said, ‘I’m guilty before God.’ Follow David’s example.
2) Repent. The Bible says, ‘Godly sorrow worketh repentance’ (2 Corinthians 7:10 KJV). When you’re caught in a cycle of repeated sin, a glib ‘Now I lay me down to sleep’ kind of prayer won’t help you. Sin hurts God, hurts you, and hurts others. The idea behind repentance is to get you to where you loathe sin and decide to renounce and forsake it.
3) Refocus. One of the Bible’s central themes is ‘resurrection’. That means you can rise again. God said in His Word, ‘Forget … what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new’ (Isaiah 43:17-18 MSG). It’s a new day with a new opportunity to get your life together and move on to greater things. Don’t waste it looking back in regret!o