Regrets: Bad Choices and Second Chances

Bible Book: Luke  17 : 3
Subject: Second Chance; Forgiveness; Regrets
Introduction

Luke 17:3 and Matthew 21:28-31

Regrets could be described as heavy weights. They certainly can impede our moving forward. Regret is a word which means to mourn the loss or death of; to miss very much, to be very sorry for (regrets his mistakes). It can refer to sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one’s control or power to repair. It’s an expression of distressing emotion (as sorrow). They paralyze us in the past, interfere with present happiness, and steal motivation for the future.

Hebrews 12:1 “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Speaks of encumbrances - Speaks of entanglements - Speaks of endurance

Lifeway research asked for a response to the statement, “I am dealing with the consequences of a bad decision.” 47% agreed. Almost half of the country feels the weight of a bad choice from their past. The Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14 wrote:

Philippians 3:13-14 - “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Ed Stetzer, “Recognizing a sizeable percentage of people are suffering consequences from past mistakes allows Christians to show grace.”

Christians minister grace out of grace. Caring for those dealing with pain and regrets is not about fulfilling obligations or reliving guilt, as all of that has already been taken care of by Christ.

The vast majority of Americans believe God gives second chances for those who have made bad decisions. 98% of evangelicals agreed God gives second chances.

19% of Americans believe God gives 2nd chances when a person depends only on God.

18% of Americans believe God gives 2nd chances when a person makes restitution.

15% of Americans believe God gives 2nd chances when a person does good enough.

11% of Americans believe God gives 2nd chances when a person promises not to repeat the mistake.

Ronnie Floyd said, “44% believed God’s offering a second chance depends on some kind of human action. The problem with trusting in one’s self to gain a second chance from God is that we cannot trust ourselves to get it right.”

“Why put extra pressure on ourselves to fix things? We shouldn’t. The most scriptural response to a failure is to ask God to intervene to accomplish His will.”

Romans 8:27 - “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Regrets are powerful and painful. Past regrets have choked out our confidence in Christ. Ignoring past pain causes present pain. What if you have wronged someone in the past and you have genuinely sought God’s forgiveness and theirs. You sense that God has forgiven you, but they will not let it go (will not let you forget what you did by their treatment, actions, attitude, body language, etc.). The question is not, “what is the right thing for them to do?” The question is, “What is the right thing for me to do?” Extend to them the same grace that you wish extended to you!

Letter Received": “I am soooo thankful for the blood that washed me from head to foot and then washed my stinking feet when needed. I can’t seem to get TOTALLY past my past because it seems some just refuse to let me. It breaks my heart that within the body of Christ there are those who seem to consider His blood totally sufficient for their sins, but not quite sufficient for the sins of others.”

Galatians 6:1 - “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” Can I treat someone with grace who has sinned against me, in the same way I would wish to be treated if I sinned against them?

Letter Received (email)

In January it will be 10 years since I arrived in Woodstock to begin my journey of forgiveness and reconciliation. At that time my world had crashed and I was as low as a snake’s belly. However, during the following 17 months God breathed new life into the broken world of my wife and I.

“Hello, My Name Is”

Matthew West

Hello, my name is regret
I'm pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I'm the whisper inside
That won't let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I'll drag you right back down again
'Til you've lost all belief

These are the voices, these are the lies
And I have believed them, for the very last time

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I've been saved, I've been changed, and I have been set free
"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

I am no longer defined
By all the wreckage behind
The one who makes all things new
Has proven it's true
Just take a look at my life

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I've been saved, I've been changed, and I have been set free
"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

What love the Father has lavished upon us
That we should be called His children
I am a child of the one true King

What love the Father has lavished upon us
That we should be called His children

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I've been saved, I've been changed, and I have been set free
"Amazing Grace" is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

I am a child of the one true King

Note Some Steps To Deal With Regrets (WikiHow.com)

Determine What Your Regret Really Is.

Is it something you did or something you didn’t do? Something someone else did or didn’t do? A circumstance beyond your control?

Ask For Forgiveness From God and Make Restitution To The Offended.

Repent of the harm you did.

Forgive yourself.

Accept the Circumstances.

Avoid blaming others but rather take responsibility for anything that you could have handled better.

Grieve For Your Regrets.

When you feel regret, we relive guilt, sadness or anger over and over again. Allowing yourself to experience those feelings fully with the intention of moving forward can help you stop revisiting them.

Luke 15:4-6 - "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'”

Boyd Bailey wrote: “God never gives up on going after His lost sheep. He pursues them with extravagant and passionate love that exceeds human understanding. The secluded and insecure sheep trembles in fear and worry, but the Great Shepherd gently picks them up. He places them on the broad shoulders of His salvation. His eyes of compassion create comfort and His heart of forgiveness brings joy. Jesus the Shepherd of our soul never stops loving us or pursuing us in our sins.”

Do you feel lost and alone? Have you wandered from the care of Christ into the discomfort of some bad decisions? You may have drifted from God’s best for now, but you do not have to remain in this scary state of mind. Your Heavenly Father is hot on your heels with His loving kindness and long suffering. Ask Him to hoist you onto His back.

Here Is The Challenge: Intuit God’s Heart - "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

There is a ‘God gap’ between a natural man’s thinking and a spiritual man’s thinking. The Lord’s thoughts do not traffic on the road of unrighteousness, but on heaven’s highway of righteousness. Thus, wise are the ones who lean into the Holy Spirit to intuit God’s heart. This is a spiritual understanding that only comes by the Spirit’s discernment.

To comprehend the mind of Christ is counter-intuitive and counter-cultural. Yes, the ‘God gap’ is bridged by the Spirit’s illumination.
Quietly and confidently the Holy Spirit searches for a humble heart to reveal the heart of Jesus. Sometimes we are like Peter before Pentecost, impetuous and fleshly in our faith. But post Pentecost, Peter was transformed by the Holy Spirit’s power. So, in our flesh we flounder in the extremes of indifference or unloving activism, but in the Spirit we are led into the Lord’s heart of love for people. Love is the baseline of belief that understands and embraces the mind of Christ. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16

Recognize What You Learned or Gained.

There is always a lesson from pain and sadness.

Think Through How To Avoid Having Those Type Of Regrets In The Future.