A close friend and business partner sent me a note at 3am this morning while driving on an East Coast highway. He had a heavy heart full of regret over actions he had taken the previous day that did not honor God. I prayed for this great man and then powered up my laptop and wrote this message for him…and me…and you, too.
Let’s start with what God says about regret through the Apostle Paul in Corinth…
“For the sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation—and there is no regret in that! But sadness that is merely human causes death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
There it is…Godly regret is an all-consuming and deep sadness that pays a visit and pervades our soul when we fall short of the Lord’s standard. It drops a repenting believer to their knees and uncorks a flood of tears tinged with grief. To see that picture in high-resolution 4D clarity, just look at Peter’s behavior when Jesus was arrested and tried.
Godly regret produces repentance that activates the Lord’s saving grace. Worldly grief produces death because it focuses our remorse on how an action or thought blew up in some way and produced pain or humiliation or loss.
Real regret, Godly regret, is GOOD because the pain it triggers becomes a “repentance alert.”
TAKE THE TEST
Here’s the test I try to apply in matters of regret…
First, am I repentant?
Second, does that repentance produce a change in my heart that renounces the wrong way and commits to going the right way?
And, finally, have I remembered that the repentant path of Godly regret has nothing to do with sinless perfection and everything to do with selfless surrender?
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you have any regrets that should be revisited today with this GODLY vs WORLDLY difference in mind?
“Put yourselves to the test and judge yourselves, to find out whether you are living in faith. Surely you know that Christ Jesus is in you?—unless you have completely failed.” 2 Corinthians 13:5