The idea of living with future regrets is a bit odd. Granted.
Regret, by definition, is about past mistakes, guilt, and shame. So, why am I writing about future regrets? Isn’t that pessimistic or fatalistic?
Let me explain.
First, if you’re breathing, you have regrets. You look back over your life and say to yourself, “Wish I didn’t do that thing” or “If only….”
In case you’re wondering, to a degree, regrets are normal. They are an acknowledgement that you mourn your mistakes.
If you didn’t care, that might be indicative of a hard heart. By the way, you don’t need to live buried by guilt or regret, but some measure of godly sorrow over your past idiocy is appropriate.
So, what does all of this have to do with future regrets?
Here’s my point: sometimes you live with an unhealthy fear of making future mistakes.
Your past regrets have predisposed and preconditioned you to dread screwing up again.
In other words, your past failures too often cause you to live with a present and future trepidation.
Your anxiety holds you back from taking any risks.
Your nervousness about blowing it keeps you frozen in fear.
Unhealthy concern about what might happen leaves you bound in a state of worry and stress.
You took that job that turned out to be a nightmare, so you don’t want to try anything new or outside of your comfort zone ever again!
You got hurt in a relationship, so it’ll be a cold day in Hades before you open yourself up to anyone else!
You tried to learn a new skill or hobby, and hundreds or thousands of dollars later you failed and quit and then swore you’d never do so again!
Got it. Your concerns might be legit. So, you’re on high alert and being extremely self-protective.
But here’s the thing: You will make future mistakes. You will fail again. (A bummer, but truth.)
You are human. You aren’t perfect. And you can’t always (ever?) avoid all failure.
That being the case, perhaps attempting to avoid the inevitable isn’t a great plan. (That last sentence is worth a second read.)
Maybe—and I think I’m on to something here—perhaps it’s best to live your life without fear of future mistakes.
Rather than being stuck and attempting to reduce or eliminate your future blunders, maybe it’s best to walk humbly into the future with hope.
Hope is a confident expectation in the goodness, mercy, and grace of our Father.
Hope is the belief that no matter what you do or don’t do, God is committed to you and your growth.
Hope is knowing in your knower that the God who used your past to mold you, as He redeemed, restored, and renewed what you surrendered to Him, can and will use your future as well. Even your future regrets.
Don’t let the high probability of future growth opportunities (aka mistakes) keep you from the new, abundant, and uncharted life Jesus has for you.
So, go live full of hope and without fear because Jesus has your future in His hands!
“I am absolutely convinced that Jesus will finish
what He started in your life! And God will take you
all the way toward your spiritual completion
right up to the moment Jesus returns.”
Philippians 1:6 (Bubna Paraphrase Version)