Thursday, October 02, 2014

Regret

This past Sunday I started a teaching series called Soundtrack. The premise is this: 

Great movies have great soundtracks. When it comes to soundtracks, even though they aren't the focus of the movie, they impact us emotionally. The affect how we feel. Each of us has a soundtrack playing in the background of our minds. Too often, however, we're listening to the wrong soundtrack and it's affecting us negatively.

It's been difficult deciding which soundtracks to discuss. There really are so many. We started off talking about the soundtrack of guilt and shame. Related to guilt and shame is the soundtrack of regret. I didn't have time to talk about regret this past week, so I wanted to share a few thoughts that will hopefully be helpful to someone.

Regret is the feeling of sadness or loss over something in the past.

Last night Liz and I were talking about how to get rid of the soundtrack of regret. Here's what she reminded me of: 

Warning: It's simple but not easy.

The only way we know to get rid of regret is to forgive yourself. You know this, but sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself.

The only way you can forgive yourself is to focus on the fact that you've been forgiven. I've said before that forgiveness only makes sense if you've been forgiven. For those of you who call yourself a Christian, remember you've been forgiven because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. (If you aren't a Christian, that forgiveness is free and it's available. All you have to do is ask.) 

The forgiveness we have received is what motivates us to forgive others. It's also what should motivate you to forgive yourself.

Liz reminded me of 2 Corinthians 10:5 which tells us to "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ." We need to take captive the thoughts of regret that run rampant in our minds and replace them with reminders that we've been forgiven.

I like Colossians 3:13 which says: Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Sometimes the "others" we need to forgive are "ourselves."

I know way too many people who are consumed with regret. Hear this. Let it sink in: You've been forgiven. You can forgive yourself. Take captive every thought, including your regret. Make it obedient to Christ by forgiving yourself. And trust what God's word says about you, ie. you're forgiven, more than your feelings. Move forward doing things right the second time.

You can't change the past, but you can shape the future. The right soundtrack can make all the difference.

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