Have I done all I could do in the time you have given me? Have I done all You asked of me?
At least until the present moment the truthful answer to this question for me would be “no”.
But how do I recognize what I could have done but did not, without “looking back?”
As human beings we place great value and importance on achievement.
Self-importance, self-serving, self-relaint, self-interest, self-righteous, self-seeker, and all the other self family is directly tied to our need to be recognized, and affirmation of our worth.
And when we come up short in our efforts to be all these things, we feel sorry, we feel remorse, anger, regret.
But regret without proper assignment is only another expression of our self-effort.
And if we never move past the emotion of regret, often we become victims….
Looking back, unable to push the plow forward. Eliminating the love, forgiveness, and acceptance that despite our failure we are valuable.
But is it possible to have regret that serves a useful purpose?
I believe there is.
When we realize our failure many times our response is to assign blame. We are quick to point out all the reasons why we come up short. Self once again takes center stage.
I believe the key to rightfully appropriating our regret of what has been left undone, our failure, is a clear understanding of who we have failed.
When we realize that every human failure is the fruit of fallen human nature we turn to the One who understands.
One who not only understands our incompleteness, our failure, but One who offers forgiveness, reconciliation, and assurance. Assurance that when we turn to Him, confessing our failure, our sin, by His blood and sacrifice, there is no need to look back.
I believe Paul had this in mind when he wrote in Philippians 3:13
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Focusing on what lies ahead
Pressing on to the end
Receiving what God through Jesus Christ has called us to.
No looking back, no regrets.