Letting Go of Regret

Today’s devotion comes to us from Mindful Christianity Today.


At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: ‘Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.’ And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.  (Luke 22:61-62)

We all live with the regrets of missed opportunities or decisions.  We all think about what we should have done differently in life.  It’s easy to look back and feel like we’ve wasted precious time with bad decisions:  staying too long in a relationship, working an unfulfilling job, hurting a loved one, or hurting ourselves.  Our regrets can become overwhelming when we choose to play them back on repeat.  It can be like choosing to see a bad movie repeatedly!

We must accept the grace for both ourselves and others.  It is vital to realize that hindsight is perfect, but we either did the best we could with what we knew at the time, or we made a mistake.  But it’s also important to realize that our regrets are seldom based on fact because our recall of the events isn’t perfect either.

If there are mistakes, we need to apologize or if we have hurt someone, regret never helps.  It only keeps us focused on the unchangeable.  In fact, no amount of self-punishment will help!  Guilt will only keep us from taking the actions like reconciliation and forgiveness needed to repair our relationships.

Today ask yourself is there something you need to make right.  Accept that the past is the past and cannot be changed.  Focus on what you can control in the here and now.  Then act:  do it and let it go.  Apologize, reconcile, forgive – whatever moving forward looks like – just take action!  Accept that you are not perfect (no one is!).  Acknowledge that you’re doing your best and accept that you can and will make mistakes.  Think of the regrets that continue to plague you.  Face it, acknowledge it, release them.

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