Letting Go Of Regret

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt.  The prompt today is “regret.”

Creature in the sea

For eight years I lived with deep regret.

I’m not sure why this particular sin stuck with me the way it did.  Looking back now, it seems almost trivial- an act of teenage foolishness, not a good thing to have done, but nothing that hurt anyone else or had lasting consequences.

Except in my heart.

The claws of condemnation dug in deep, refusing to loosen their grip.  The voice in my head told me I was a bad person.  I prayed and prayed that God would forgive me, but I never really believed he did.  Just when I thought I had broken free, it would come back to haunt me once again.

I thought maybe this was the punishment- the endless guilt.  I struggled with the fact that no-one knew and worried about what they’d think of me if they found out.

Until one day the challenge came- to write a letter to someone who had been there at the time and confess.

It was the last thing I wanted to do.  I wasn’t sure if they’d be angry about what I was going to tell them, or if they would just think it weird that it had bothered me for eight years.

God and I wrestled over it for a while.

He won.

I wrote the letter.

And something about the response of understanding and grace caused the truth to finally sink in.

God’s forgiveness is real and it is complete.  It is for me and it is for you.

We don’t have to carry our regrets all our days because Jesus has dealt with them.  As he hung on the cross, paying the price of our sins, he declared “It is finished.”

There is no condemnation for those who are in Him.

“You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.  Once again you will have compassion on us.  You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!”  (Micah 7:18-19 NLT)

 

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30 thoughts on “Letting Go Of Regret

    1. Thanks, Gabriele! Yes, I think regret can be good when it leads us to repentance, but then we need to accept God’s forgiveness and move on, instead of getting stuck in the regret.

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  1. I wrote a letter one time too. It was a different situation. I wanted to share my feelings with a boy so I wrote a letter to him. It’s something I don’t regret either. I’m in the 4 spot this week.

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  2. Non, rien de rien. Non. Je ne regrette rien.

    Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.

    To have no regrets could be a sign of arrogance. We all have some regrets of things we have done, or not done. The wise thing to do is to learn from one’s regrets.

    God bless.

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  3. Lesley, such a beautiful example of people making God’s love real! Your story resonates. It’s freeing to realize we really are forgiven. Visiting from FMF. 🙂

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  4. Really nice post, Lesley. I’m glad you followed the prompting to write the letter and thus could experience that sense of God’s grace and forgiveness.

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  5. Oh boy Leslie…..been there done that! Just about the time I thought I’d let it go. I’d reel it back in like a kite! The guilt sometimes felt like it was smothering me! What a relief to know “it is finished”! Thank you for the encouraging words, Cindy Wilkins

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  6. “I thought maybe this was the punishment- the endless guilt. I struggled with the fact that no-one knew and worried about what they’d think of me if they found out.”
    Me too. Isn’t it the terrible believable lie of the enemy to trap us and keep us bound while Jesus shouts, “you’re free!”? Thanks so much for your encouragement along with a practical application. I’ve written a few of those letters. It does a soul good!
    Visiting today from wordpress reader… ~Lisa

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  7. How easy it can be – to think endless guilt and shame is part of our “punishment”…when it is our weak faith and/or Satan totally working to defeat us, rob us of joy and to destroy us. So glad you saw the victory in this situation. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I have to repeat Romans 8:1 to myself all the time. Jesus doesn’t condemn me, so what gives me the right to condemn myself? What gives Satan the right to try and press me down with shame? I can take a deep breath and relax my shoulders, secure in forgiveness. Thank you for reminding me of that truth today!

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  9. Oh Lesley I could feel this deep inside. There were so many things in my past that I allowed to gnaw at me for years. I have a stronger understanding now of God’s grace and His forgiveness. I have repented and feel free. There are still things that wave at me here and there, but Hid truth is what I am learning to turn back to.

    Thank you for sharing Micah 7:18-19

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! It’s so important to understand God’s grace and forgiveness and to be able to fight against the voice of the enemy with truth. Hope you’re having a great weekend too!

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  10. There is freedom in letting go and forgiving, whether it be forgiving ourselves or forgiving us. When we experience those feelings of guilt it’s usually because we need to be right with ourselves and with God. He is always there when we are ready to turn to him. We just need to let go of the regret we have and do this. Or we end up having more regret when we don’t turn to Him. Thank you for your honest words, ones that will resonate with many. Visiting you from the FMF Community (#61)

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    1. Thanks, Lynne! Yes, I think the feelings of guilt can be helpful as long as we take them to God and trust him to deal with them instead of holding onto them and feeling condemned.

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