No regrets … when we hear ‘no regrets’ isn’t it usually attached to the theme of a motivational speaker or tagged onto the end of a be-all-you-can-be-plus-more dialog? This isn’t about that.
This is about being who you are, right this minute, no driving ambition to ‘be more’. Instead just for today consider being comfortable in your own skin and thinking how satisfying it is to just be you. No regrets. Forget about everything that happened yesterday and the day before that, and even before that. We can’t change the past. All we can do is learn from it. There are many regrets back there.
Most of the time, I use my Bible App on my phone because I can quickly go to any address and in any translation, but somehow I was using my printed Bible yesterday and accidentally turned to 2Corinthians 7 instead of where I meant to go. While these verses spoke to me, I hope you read the chapter to get the full message. Verse 1 alone sets the stage for living with no regrets. “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
Most readers of my blog I don’t know personally, but through exchanging sentiments and comments we glean some insight into each other’s thoughts. A recent reader mentions his son quite often and their relationship is admirable. Whenever he brings his son into his story, I think ‘no regrets’. Verse 4 reminds me of this gentleman’s relationship with his son. “I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.” No regrets.
A family in my circle of friends is going through some inconvenient transitions right now and we are all praying for turmoil to subside and for God to pervade them with peace during this shift that’s threatening to rock their foundation. Verse 5 “we had no rest, we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within.” We pray for this situation and other like it so there will be ‘no regrets’ when life settles down. Verses 6-7 paraphrased “God comforts the downcast through their deep sorrow, so that joy is greater than ever.”
There is so much more to 2Corinthians 7. There was a letter of instruction that offended some folks in verse 8 “Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—“ But by verse 9 the hurts were resolved. “Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.“ No regrets.
Close to the end of the chapter, Paul’s heart pours out, “By all this we are encouraged,” Titus is visibly happy and his spirit reflects joy. Finally in verse 16, Paul says “I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.” If you were standing in that audience that day, wouldn’t you be energized? Think about how you would feel to hear someone like Paul say I have confidence in you. I believe in you.
This chapter says nothing about ‘be more’ or ‘do more’ or ‘achieve more’. Instead this chapter is all about self-examination and acting today so there are no regrets tomorrow. It’s possible that we each need to revisit a few of those what happened ‘back there’ to resolve what happens tomorrow. Some of those yesterdays had defining moments and we don’t like the results. Maybe some confessions or transparency or forgiveness are in order. They will turn into regret if we don’t take care of them. No regrets. Right?
Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Treat yourself to joy every day!
Ready team? Let’s get out there!
Hello My Name is Regret – Matthew West