Regret or Repentance

What do you see when you look in the mirror?  I don’t mean the reflection staring back at you.  I mean what kind of person do you see?  Do you, like many, live in the past of regrets and what-if’s?  Do you dwell on your mistakes, allowing them to hold sway over you?  Much of what causes us to cling to the past are the many regrets we have over our actions or how things have turned out.  And we all know that living in regret is a terrible way to live.

Most of the time, regret is a natural byproduct of being caught in sin.  Not necessarily making bad choices by themselves, but continuing in sin until it is shown for what it is.  “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).  We may be able to fool ourselves or even those around us, but our actions are always evident before God.  Our usual reaction is to respond to our sin with regret, but regret by itself does not show that we are really broken and torn over our sin.

IMG_0390-1024x1024The question we should ask ourselves is if there is real repentance.  Is there a real change of heart?  If so, then we do not stop at regret.  Regret becomes a starting point where we move to confession  and into repentance.  In this way, we walk away from our sin with a lesson learned and a real desire to not relive our wrongs.  Confession may not be easy, but it affords us some level of accountability, especially if the sin has wronged someone in the process.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

So I’ll ask again.  What do you see when you look in the mirror?  A person imprisoned by regrets?  Or a person freed by repentance?

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.”

(2 Corinthians 7:10)

-Joe

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