Okay so what regrets do you have in your life, those ones that you just can’t forget. A long lost love, family relationships gone bad, failed business, giving your hair the wrong dye colour? Regrets we all have them but it’s what we do with them is where will win of lose. It is the recognizing and defining regrets from other feeling that will help bring freedom to our souls.
Most simply regrets are defined as: a strong feeling of disappointment for an action, circumstance or for words spoken.
More importantly it is to recognize that regret is a totally self serving emotion and therefore one that can be very dangerous to our well being. Regret has the ability to freeze us in a moment of time, in a certain spot until we deal with the regret, this is especially true when it comes to dealing with our personal relationships.
Not all regrets are without value, regret purpose is to move us forward from the error of our action to restitution and restoration. Regret can be a healing emotion if it’s dealt with at its inception. Regret that is allowed to remain upon the heart soon becomes the residence of feeling of guilt, seeds of bitterness and a harvest of sorrow. All of which locks a person into repeating a cycle which ever leads more guilt, bitterness and sorrow, a downward spiral into depression and possibly even worse.
The cycle is repeated over an over similar circumstances, identical relationships, continued failure repeating over and over all seeded by a single incident which was left uncheck and not corrected and allow to grow into greater regrets.
Regrets benefit is that it should be an instructor for our lives. Taking the error or circumstance and learning from it so that when a similar incident occurs we are watchful not to repeat the same action leading us away from additional regrets. Regret can really be a great teacher if we are wise enough to learn the required lesson from the unfortunate circumstance we find ourselves within. Remember wisdom is the application of knowledge, so once we have gained the knowledge of a wrong action of harsh circumstance apply the knowledge gained so that we do not repeat it again.
The trap of regret is simple, first we preform or commit some action in which we make a wrong choice. Regret for that action is not dealt with because of pride, our pride prevents the seeking of forgiveness. Even if we are right, our action may have been wrong and a need to seek forgiveness is necessary. However if we do not deal with regret at this very moment regret next brings into our heart sorrow.
Sorrow is a burdening sadness, notice the word burdening, sorrow will heap one burden upon a heart after another. Keeping manipulating your thought life with simple thoughts of “if only” and “what if” wishful thinking that brings no results. The burden comes from the desire of what should have been, could have been, or would have been, but the reality is it is not. The regret attached with sorrow becomes a heavy weight upon the heart and burden to the soul. The “shoulda, woulda, coulda” effect is the shame as that of shame (see note on shame.) Regret and shame our twins, where one is found the other is also found in some degree.
Once regret has placed its burdens of sadness upon us the next thing associated with it is the loss of joy. This is not just the loss of happiness is which a temporal state but rather an attack on the very spirit of the individual. Joy has the ability to rise high above every circumstance, allowing us to clearly see what lies ahead for our life. When joy is lost or crushed then the burdens of life become harder or harsher. Joy is one of the gifts that come upon us with the Holy Spirit better known as the “fruit” of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Joy becomes (as do all the fruit) the essence of our being seeded there at the rebirth process and building through the spiritual walk with God. So then if the Spirit of God which resides in you creates these gifts (fruit) then what does the spirit of darkness create within you. Would it not be the opposite of each of these? Notice that both create within you. So then the choice must be yours to make, what kind of ground are you? Which fruit will be produced within you? You decide.
Regret knows that once our joy has been removed our actions then become irrational and unreasonable. Leading us to do and say things which are both irrational and unreasonable leading to more regret and creating a never-ending cycle of regret. Unlike the fruit of the spirit, regret like all the enemies spirits are influenced by outside forces, decisions and desires rather than those influenced by the Spirit.
Regrets will alway come to those who use personnel and self serving motivates to influence another into a decision or action which will clearly result in wrong actions. The motivation of every person is to assist and lift up the other, they should never be made to fulfill some self seeking influence. This will simply lead to a regret and that to sorrow and saddens the soul or lead to destruction and/or death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
Regret will often seed strife into ones life, remember that strife is bitter or violent conflict accompanied by forceful contention. (See writing on strife.) All strife leads to a form of death and destruction. Scripture advises us to avoid strife 2 Timothy 2: 22-26, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” No relationship will survive when there is constant strife in the centre of it. Notice that scripture says these people first are in opposition to themselves, what does this mean? They are of two minds in all they say and do, they cannot be trusted for they cannot trust themselves. The verse also says that they are taken captive by Satan at Satan’s will, or whenever if so desires he may have his way with them for they are snared by or his pleasure. We are no longer in control of our own will when we are in the centre of strife and regret we are at Satan’s will, he calls the shots and his shots are always aimed at our well being.
Many regrets are seeded in our hearts from our very youth as rebellion and wrong decisions are made, instead of learning from our wayward ways we cover them with our pride. Regrets will always lead to pride and pride will always lead to destruction. Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Regret, pride and shame all live a life together to bring their victim into destruction. Proverbs 11:2 “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” Regrets of youth are like the person they are seeded into, as the person grows so too do the regrets. Youthful regrets tend to fracture the soul and as these facture age (never healing) they form shards within the soul causing the very personality to also become fractured and underdeveloped leaving the very makeup of the person immature.
Heavy burdening regrets will often lead us into actions of deep addictions as we seek relief from the burden upon our soul being convinced that there is no forgiveness, not from the victim of our action nor from the source of forgiveness, God. Often the resulting addictions will be a direct reflection of the regret harboured within the soul. An example may be of two young people who suffer a traumatic breakup. The regrets placed upon the soul of the young could lead him into a life where becomes an abuser of women as he is never satisfied with any because of the one he lost thus leading him into a life of sexual addiction. The same could be said for the young lady she too could be lead into various addictions to ease her pain as well as entering into a period where every following relationship is abusive and degrading. She becoming dependant on substances and dominating cruel people as she seeks relief for her pain and regrets. Both living ever after blaming the other for the regret and where their life has gone. It is needful no matter what stage one may be in their regrets to seek forgiveness and thus healing and then a relief and freedom will come from the pain, hurts and addictions which Satan has placed upon us at his will.
There may even come a need to return to place or person where the original offense came, to seek and receive forgiveness. This may be needful even many years later. Once discovered what the offense may be causing the regret it must be eradicated from your life for healing to be complete, even if this means seeking forgiveness many years later. We must never consider any regret too small to be dealt with as all regret has the power to grow and facture the soul all regret must be dealt within a forceful and complete manner. Any regret large or small can bring unhealthy desires and destructive results. However in dealing with regret we also must use wisdom, you never want to approach someone who knows that no offense has occurred and therefore regrets nothing, you may only end up seeding regret upon regret, yours and theirs. To have such a regret removed from your life simply take it to God and He will remove from you. The Holy Spirit will cause both spirits to be released from all hurt and ties that bind the two together. Never cause an offense when trying to heal an offense, simply seek God’s power of forgiveness, leave it with Him and move on.
When the offense causing the regret needs to be dealt with caution must be key. The situation may be tense and the enemy is looking for any reason to gain a place where he can, so more offense and greater regret into the circumstance. Learn the skill of listening and hearing, listen to what is being said and hear what the heart is crying out at the same time. Many regrets have been healed by giving close attention to what the heart of the offender may be saying. A simple misunderstanding could lead to a major offense and harsher regrets, a listening heart will relieve the heaviness of the situation and healing of the fractured souls may take place. Many close relationships have been recovered when the two hearts listen well to each other. Understanding why or how the offense may have come is not what is important, what is important is that each have compassion to see the other healed of the offense and resulting regrets.
Being completely free from regret means living a life that is free from offense and strife, it is possible to do so by living a life completely turned over to God. Do that which brings healing, walk in the anointing of God that. He has placed upon you. Listen to only that which feeds the soul with peace, joy and most of all love. For what is within you is what will come out of you. If no offense lives in you then no regret can proceed from you.