Recently, I noticed a trending hashtag on Twitter: #ThingsIDontRegret. Some of the posts were funny, like not regretting eating a whole pizza at 3am. Others were more serious, such as the woman who didn’t regret keeping her baby when she got pregnant as a teenager. But other posts were more sarcastic, even defensive, such as the woman who didn’t regret being promiscuous.
Looking back on my own life, there are things I wish I had done differently. God had a Plan A for me, but I was rebellious and self-righteous. Thankfully, God didn’t give up on me, and He brought me to where I am now. Still, I often wish that I had learned the easy way, that God hadn’t had to draft Plan B for me.
Still, I don’t think “regret” is the right word. As believers, should we even have regrets?
Fortunately, Paul gives us the answer in 2 Corinthians 7:10: “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
It is the Holy Spirit who convicts our hearts of sin. If that conviction leads us to repentance and salvation, then we have no cause for regrets. Our sins have been washed clean. We are made new. How can we regret actions that have led us to the cross and our salvation?
Once we accept Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside us. This makes it possible for us to know right from wrong and to choose right, even if that choice costs us dearly. However, Christians do sin. We succumb to temptation, fall back on bad habits, or rebel against the will of God. We’re human; it happens.
Thankfully, we can repent of our sins and accept God’s forgiveness. But this ability to receive forgiveness should never lead us to sin in the first place. We should never say, “Well, it’s okay this time. God will forgive me.” Instead, our thought should be, “God loved me so much that He let Jesus die so I could be reconciled to Him. I don’t want to do anything to hurt the heart of my Savior!” (See Romans 6.)
Thanks to Jesus
Unbelievers don’t have the benefit of the Holy Spirit inside them. They have to use their own conscience to decide what is right and wrong…or if that even matters at all. It is a sad and unenviable state, to wander in the darkness. It is the very reason Jesus died on the cross so long ago.
As you prepare for Easter, remember all the things you don’t have to regret—all because of what Jesus did at the cross for you. Then remember all those who have yet to accept the salvation that Jesus offers. You can pray something simple like this:
“Lord, thank you for your sacrifice. Not only did you die and rise again, but you took my sins with you to the grave, and you left them there. I know I am a new person in you. Please help me to act like it, to avoid sinful actions that hurt your heart. Please also be with those who do not yet know you. Let the purifying conviction of the Holy Spirit rest on them and draw them into your arms. Use me to share the good news of your saving grace, this season and every season. In the name of Jesus, ‘the Lord saves.’ Amen.”
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