Monday, November 30, 2009
What to Do with Life's Regrets
I suppose everyone has regrets. We regret doing some of the things we did. We regret not doing some of the things we didn't. We can't deny that given the knowledge we have now that we wouldn't have done some things differently.
There are many things we would do all over again, too. This may involve our professions or who we married or even how we raised our children. They provided wonderful times for us and we will treasure these memories forever.
Whether we had good times or bad we cannot live in the past. We can make decisions that will change our future. We can do what we need to do. We can learn from our past.
Make a resolution that you will not repeat the things that went wrong. Why should you expect a different result if nothing has changed? Don't waste your time doing something that will lead nowhere. If that is one of your regrets, accept your loses and move on. If you know that coming in late for work got you fired at your last job, don't come in late for the job you have now. If you know that drinking ruined your last marriage, don't drink so you won't lose your present marriage. If you know your anger has caused a separation between you and your child, work on controlling the anger.
Don't let regrets merely be regrets. Let them become learning opportunities whenever you can.
Don't let your regrets predict what you can do. You may have tried and failed at something in the past. You regret that failure but a failure doesn't make you a failure. Quiting makes you a failure. There is a difference between quiting and retirement. Quiting says you have had enough. Retirement says I have done what I could. Don't get the two mixed up. There are times when you can't do anymore. You retire because you are satisfied that you have done your best. Quiting is when you just stop. There is a whole lot more that you can do but you are afraid you can't do it so rather than try, you don't do anything.
Make your regrets something you can launch from. "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never." -Sir Winston Churchill
Don't let your regrets fool you into thinking that you are alone. You are never alone. You may act like it. You may shun the presence of God but He will not leave you alone if you will let Him. Many people do not know that God has a plan for a future and hope for them. They do not know that God wants to help them become successful. They do not know that He will provide strength. They do not know that God works best with those who have regrets!
Moses regretted killing the Egyptian. God had plans for him. Paul had regrets for persecuting the Christians. God had plans for him. These regrets launched them into a new future because God was with them. Yes, you will have your regrets but God has a way of making big things from regrets. Why don't you let Him?
We have regrets. They are things in our past that have made us stronger. They have made us have new resolve. They have taught us lessons. They have made us depend upon God to succeed.
You know, maybe we should be grateful for our regrets. Then again, they wouldn't be regrets then, would they?