Overcoming Regret

There’s no grief like the kind which is mingled with regret. 

How did things get to a point in David’s life when his own son, Absalom, stole the hearts of the people and led a hostile rebellion to usurp the throne?

The path that leads to such dysfunction is marked by poor decisions, bitterness, pride, and secret sin. 

King David’s loyal followers took to his defense, pursued the rebels, and brought swift justice, killing  Absalom in the process. 

It was a definitive and significant victory over a powerful enemy. But the king mourned. 

“The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!””‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭19:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Of all the words used to describe a person’s family dynamic, one of the most revealing is the word “complicated.”

David’s family was complicated. He was overlooked by his father, despised by his brothers, had at least one psycho-wife who tried to control him (Michal), had an adulterous affair that led to another marriage (Bathsheba), had lost a son to death, and had family drama among his kids. 

When Absalom died David’s grief was not simple- it was complicated by years of regret. 

I don’t want to live with regret.

I’m sure I will have things I wish I could go back and do a different way. I already have that! But that doesn’t mean I have to live with regret. 

We mistakenly assume that the only way to avoid regret is to never make a mistake. Not only is that not possible – it’s not true!

So, you’ve made mistakes. Now what? How do you have a flawed life, but not have regrets?

  1. Admit failure as soon as you recognize it. Don’t hide it or make excuses – confess it. 
  2. Ask forgiveness as often as you fail. Not only to God, but to people affected by your decisions. 
  3. Move on. Stop living in the shadow of shame. Receive forgiveness from God even when other people refuse to forgive you! 
  4. Pray everyday for God’s mercy to cover your past and His grace to empower your future. 

You will make mistakes. Sometimes very big mistakes. But don’t let the enemy hold your future hostage. 

Jesus died for sin. Jesus paid the price for failure. Jesus accepts people like me and you. He loves us despite our failures.

Father- today I join my faith with those reading this devotional, that the light of Jesus’ love and forgiveness will pierce the shadow of shame and regret. We break the bonds and shackles right now and receive your mercy and grace. 

Forgive us, Jesus, for the sins and poor decisions we have made. We commit to a life of humility and honesty before You and others. And we receive the promise of a bright future, in Jesus’ name. 

Amen. 

One Comment on “Overcoming Regret

  1. Just what I needed when I needed it most! Thank you Pastor Dale – you were used of the Lord in my life . . . once again.

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