Regrets, Repentance, and Redemption

“Jesus . . became poor so that you through His poverty might become [enriched].” 2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV.

Redemption is the lavish application of God’s grace to remove every cause for regret.

My thoughts and comments today are about “regrets, repentance, and redemption.”

Everyone has regrets. Everyone makes mistakes. What happens after you make a mistake or poor choice is what matters most. People regret things wrongly committed – harsh words, angry reactions, bad behavior, impatience – which they wish they had restrained. Or regret can result from good things omitted. The Bible cautions, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17 NIV. God views sins of omission and sins of commission alike.

Your goal should be to have a sanctified and trained conscience that preempts your natural inclination to do wrong, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Paul offered a worthy goal, “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” Acts 24:16 NIV. Regret is a belated recognition of wrongdoing.

There was a time when I assumed righteousness could be measured by how long I could go without sinning. Trust me; that is not very effective. Along the way, I have come to understand that a better measurement of a Godly heart is the brevity of time between recognition of wrong and repentance for it. Regret is ineffective; only repentance can release redemption. Any delay or neglect of repentance produces the pain of regret without promise of release.

The prodigal son experienced devastating regret. Read Luke 15:11-24 NKJV. Eventually, he felt humiliated by his foolishness before and his degrading existence now. Nothing would have changed had he not “come to himself” and determined to return home to his father. Vs. 17-20. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Read 2 Corinthians 7:9 NIV. Regret alone is insufficient, but true repentance results in redemption. “Just see what this Godly sorrow produced in you . . you showed that you have done everything you could to make things right.” Vs. 11 NLT.

Regret preoccupies you with paralyzing emotions of remorse; repentance releases you from regret and remorse. “You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you [enriched].” 2 Corinthians 8:9 NLT. Obviously, Paul’s contrasting words, “rich and poor,” reference our spiritual poverty contrasted with the abounding riches of God’s grace. “I thank my God always concerning the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him . .” 1 Corinthians 1:4-6 NKJV. In Christ, regret is replaced by rejoicing.

Redemption is the lavish application of God’s grace, removing every cause for regret, whatever its source. See Ephesians 1:3-9 NKJV. On His cross, the Savior “emptied Himself,” (Philippians 2:5-9 NAS) so that you and I can be enriched in the fullness of grace and redemption His eternal sacrifice affords. Whatever your regrets, bring them to Jesus and rest secure in His amazing grace.

My prayer for you today is that you live free of regret, rejoicing in God’s plenteous grace.