“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” – Galatians 6:1 NIV
God wants to do so much more than simply forgive our sin. He wants to leverage our past regrets for His eternal purposes! Leverage means to use something for a maximum advantage. The enemy wants to leverage our regrets against us. The Holy Spirit wants to maximize our past failures for the building up of God’s Kingdom and the renown of Christ.
God can and will turn our “if only” regrets into “what if?” possibilities!
• Have you made a mistake that cost you your reputation? Help others avoid it.
• Have you overcome an addiction? Help someone else who struggles with the same thing.
• Have you been through a bad breakup? Help someone get through what you went through.
So often the Lord wants to take our hurts and use them to heal others. Don’t just leave the past in the past, but help transform the present for another person and in so doing redeem their future!
Sometimes our experience with a past hurt, bad habit, or hang up can help bring wisdom, clarity, or a character adjustment to someone we love. This is usually because we’ve listened to an honest rebuke and allowed ourselves to be corrected. Humility is the path to all true spiritual growth. This is part of what the Apostle Paul was teaching to his Corinthian friends:
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT
We also praise God that we don’t have to go through sinful behaviors in order to help others. We have the direction of the Word of God, (Hebrews 4:12) and the anointing (that is, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in us, on us and through us) to encourage people to practice biblical repentance, to foster scriptural understanding, and to teach them to practice specific redemptive steps of obedience (Titus 3:5,6).
Maybe you’ve struggled with an addiction that traces back to your teen years. Perhaps your first marriage ended in divorce. You could be estranged from your child because of some past conflict. You may have lost your job because of poor performance or a prejudicial boss. The enemy has you targeted, and his aim is to leverage your situation against you—blackmailing you with feelings of shame. God wants to leverage it for you. Don’t let regret stalk you the rest of your life.
Repentance is a restraining order against regret.
Regret will still come around now and then, but that’s when we make a concerted effort to go to the Cross of Christ and confess. The cross is our highest leverage point. Leverage your regrets by learning the hard lessons. Do you want to get bitter or better? Leverage your regrets by making the most of your second chance or the second half of your life!
Listen carefully to what the Apostle Paul is saying: “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” – Galatians 6:14.
Regret no longer has power over us because Jesus Christ nailed it to the cross and we are no longer obligated to follow the devil’s schemes. Why? Because we are dead to our sinful nature’s promptings. God doesn’t just leave our regrets on the cross. He resurrects those regrets and uses them for His glory and the good of others.
To the degree that we consistently know these things to be true (Romans 6:6), consider ourselves to be dead to sin (6:11), and present our bodies as instruments of righteousness (6:13), we will live without the weight of regret!
Hey, gang, we are in this together!
By the power of the Holy Spirit we will live without regret!