How many times do you press the snooze button? Or say something you wish you hadn’t said? Replay a situation in your mind, wishing you would have handled it differently? Or eat something you probably shouldn’t eat?
I want you to think about how one of those situations might affect your mood. Could you quickly bounce back and go about your day, or would you get stuck in a rut of discouragement and regret?
There are many things we may find ourselves regretting. I remember one morning when Dave woke me at my usual time and I said, “Just give me another 45 minutes.” And then when he came back to get me, the first thing I felt and thought was: Why didn’t I just get up the first time?
That’s how the devil works. He waits until it’s too late, and then he tries to bring regret, and ultimately condemnation, upon you.
But God will give you a little warning sign to help you do the right thing—like a yield sign or a yellow traffic light—so you can change your mind before you make a mistake.
You see, if it was going to be wrong for me to sleep an additional 45 minutes, God would have, by His Spirit, made that point clear in my heart before I went back to sleep. He would not have waited until there was nothing I could do about it, and then fill me full of regret so I could not enjoy the rest of my day.
But What If I Make a Mistake?!
The truth is, even when we accidentally oversleep or choose to go back to bed when we were supposed to start our day, regretting that situation is still not the answer. Instead, we should repent, ask God to help us use more discipline and self-control the next time, and go on.
There are many areas in your life where Satan will try to cause you regret, which is one of the thieves of joy. But you can resist him and hold on to your joy when you’re tempted to give in to regret.
The Apostle Paul was determined to “press on” in God’s plan, rather than get discouraged and distracted from what’s truly important (see Philippians 3:13-14).
So, let me encourage you to relax. All that pressure, all that striving to be perfect, all of those self-imposed expectations—give them all up to God. Ask Him to help you get to where you’re going…and enjoy every remaining minute of your day.
Three Steps to Let Go of Regret:
Admit your weaknesses, failures and mistakes.
Each time you fall short of the mark of perfection, the enemy will try to convince you that you’re in trouble with God. But the truth is, your sins are covered in Christ…and God loves you no matter what!
Rather than running from God in fear or retreating in shame, lean in to the God who loves you. Talk to Him openly about your weaknesses, failures and mistakes.
God’s Word says:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Repent of any wrongdoing.
Repentance means you’re sincerely sorry and you want to make a lifestyle change. If you’re not ready to repent, ask God to help you get there. If you are ready to repent, then set your mind to do the right thing next time.
You may need to accept the consequences of your actions, but you don’t have to spend another minute in regret!
God’s Word says:
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19
Trust God to work it out for your good!
God is good and, no matter what happens, He can make all things work out for your good! Rather than complaining about your situation or choosing a negative outlook, honor God by adopting an attitude of faith.
Pray a prayer of thanks: God, I know that when I let go and give You control, good things happen in my life. Thank You for loving me enough to make all things—even the messes I’ve made for myself—work out for my benefit. I pray that as I grow stronger spiritually, You will receive the glory. Amen.
God’s Word says:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28