Our Sunday School lesson today left me somewhat pensive.  It dealt with choices and regrets and the life of Jacob and Esau.

I don’t suppose any of us can say that we have no regrets.  I am of the opinion that people who say they have no regrets often have lots of people around them that could fill in the spaces for them.  When we refuse to acknowledge that there are things for which we are/should be sorry for, there are always people who are not only hurt, but disillusioned by our lack of remorse.

Does that mean we live in the land of  “if only?”  No.  God never intended for yesterday to cower today.  God is the God of the second chance.  The God who loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die for us.  He wants us to look forward.  He wants us to live in hope.  He expects us to learn from the past, but He doesn’t intend for the past to keep us from the present and the future.

This does not negate that there are things that I regret.  There are things that I wish I could do over.  For my sake, yes, but even more for the people I love who were/are hurt because of how I’ve done things, what I’ve said, or how I’ve reacted.  And saying that, I have to say that while God doesn’t expect the past to “keep us from” the present and the future, He also doesn’t erase the effects of our misjudgments and sin from either of those entities.

Any thoughts?  How does a healthy understanding of our past and the mistakes we’ve made become a catalyst for hope?


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9 responses to “

  1. Seeing the results of some of my sin and misjudgments has caused me to utterly abhor anything resembling it, and has thus made me the strongest where I once was the weakest. At the same time, I have far deeper compassion and much less judgment for others when they experience failures.Great post, Mary Ann.

  2. Enjoyed your post. I thought it was a great Sunday School lesson!  We had an intersting discussion and then Fred and I and the twins discussed it even more on the way home although we sort of got off on the bunny trail of  our freedom of choice and predestination!

  3. A very good post. Very thought provoking question. I do think we need to remember our failures but without dwelling on them, so we can better understand and forgive others.  Much to think about!

  4. I am a person that often lives in my “if onlys” it keeps me from  moving forward therefore is a successful tool of satan to hamper my growth and see my blessings. In the past several years I am learning (still) to move around them in order to be productive. I am thinking God didn’t intend for me to dwell on my mistakes, look at how He used Paul after all he had done to stop the rise of the Church. I am becoming more and more convinced that if I am repentant and willing to be used, God  has a way to make even my failures into something beautiful. I have to count on that or I wouln’t want to get up in the morning. thanks for posting your thoughts. It was a good reminder to start the day with. Remember my girlie, please.

  5. I find comfort in thinking, ” I did the very best I could for the level of understanding I was at.  I have now advanced to a different level so I am doing things differently now.”  That includes trying to make wrongs right if you can, but also moving on and spreading God’s Love and Joy.  You can only find His Joy by letting go of the regrets.  Is there no human who has not done things that we could regret? 

  6. RYC:  My sisters will be here much too short of a time, only 5 full days and two travel days.  I think your idea of planning a special time with your sisters is great.  We have no men to worry about (My guy is self reliant when my sisters are here), so we have so much girl fun.  You would, too!  I think we have become so close because of these times.

  7. “He also doesn’t erase the effects of our misjudgments and sin from either of those entities.”– Sometimes He doesn’t, and sometimes He does. I really have no idea if there is any particular pattern or precept that can give us an indication of what things He will erase and what He won’t. But I do know that there are people in this country with permanent criminal records that would prevent them from working in my profession, and I am free to work– free of any criminal record– although some of my sins were at least of equal magnitude as what caused some folks to face court and jail. I am truly a recipient of King David’s request in Psalm 25:7 “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.”Some might say, because of all this, that God is capricious. I would say that God’s complexity exceeds my limited understanding, and it would do well for me to simply continue in thankfulness.mw

  8. I’ve been doing some thinking on your thots.  I know I often allow my past to paralyze me for the present day.  But I also know that He wants to use EVERYTHING for His glory.  So we have to LET HIM.  It’s why He came to this earth and why we will always need Him.  It’s like not allowing things to be stumbling blocks, but rather letting Him make them stepping stones for us.  To lay crippled is satan’s victory. Even if we “walk with a limp”, it can be for His glory, bearing His mark of forgiveness, healing, etc. and a reminder to us of His grace. 

  9. Thank you for these thoughts.  I often think of Kind David.  He had quite the list of adventures and yet, in the end, he was a man after God’s heart.  

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