I’ve never been one to advocate living life with no regrets, because sometimes, I do have regrets.
I don’t think having regrets is such a bad thing, like a lot of people make it out to be. To me, having regrets just means that you’re willing to admit you didn’t (or did) do something you wish you did (or didn’t) do. It means calling yourself out on your shortcomings and admitting you’re not perfect.
As the incredibly wise Miley Cyrus once said, “Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days. Everybody knows what I’m talkin’ ’bout… Nobody’s perfect.” (Well said, Miley. Well said.)
I do think there’s a way to regret well, and a way to regret poorly, and that’s an important distinction to make before I go any further.
There is a difference between regretting something, dwelling on it, and allowing your negativity to catalyze you into doing more regrettable things, versus regretting something, asking God (and when applicable, others) for forgiveness, forgiving yourself for it, and picking yourself up and learning from it.
I am, of course, an advocate for the latter. Anyway, all this to say, I have regrets… the biggest one being, really simply, I’m not using the time and gifts I’ve been given in this life to their fullest potential. I’m not living life to the fullest. (See last post for details on what got me thinking about all of this in the first place).
Then this past Sunday, the pastor spoke about regrets. This happens a lot. When God is trying to tell me something, I think about it in my head, and it’s confirmed in different areas of my life – a lot of times through the sermon the next Sunday. Anyway, the pastor shared that in New York City, there is a chalk board set up where people can write down their biggest regrets. It turns out, people’s biggest regrets almost always are not things they did do, but things that they intended to do, but didn’t do.
So the question I’ve been asking myself lately is this:
A little bit of a run-on, I know, but the answer I’ve come to is simple: fear.
See next post for expansion on thoughts about fear/regrets…
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is: his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)