What You’ll Always Regret and What You’ll Never Regret

I have regrets.  I have regrets as a man, husband, father, friend, family member, pastor, coach, etc.  I have things I look back on, and wish I would’ve handled or done differently.  Actions I should’ve pursued and others I should’ve avoided.  Decisions I made or didn’t make.  Words I spoke or didn’t speak.

I also have things I will never regret or look back on with disappointment.  Choosing to follow and trust in Jesus, asking Heather to marry me, having children, to name a few big ones.

I’m grateful that the Good News is a Gospel of grace and not of works.  I’m grateful for God’s amazing grace and His faithful, lifelong sanctifying work in my life.  I’m grateful that in His goodness, power and love, He is able to take regrets, missteps, disappointments and turn them around for His glory and my good.  I’m grateful for His power and presence, and that the past doesn’t define the Christ follower, but being ‘in Christ’ does.  I’m grateful that we are new creations in Christ!

The longer I go in life and in following Jesus as Lord and Savior, the more I am convinced of these two realities:

  • You will always regret walking in darkness and trying to hide your sin.
  • You will never regret walking in the light and confessing your sin.

Always’ and Never’s…I know you’re not supposed to use those very often, but they are accurate here.  We know them to be true because of Scripture’s teaching.  I know them to be true from my own life experiences.  And for those of you who have sought to try and hide, and have experienced the freedom of walking in the light (like me), then you know these statements to be true.

Read David’s words in Psalm 32 in light of those two statements.  Notice the stark contrast between when David sought to conceal his sin, and when he acknowledged it.  Notice the difference of tones…

Walking in darkness:

  • Brittle
  • Groaning
  • Heavy
  • Drained
  • Trouble
  • Without understanding
  • Many pains

Walking in the light:

  • Joyful spirits and shouts
  • Forgiveness
  • Protection
  • Deliverance
  • Faithful love surrounding
  • Gladness

Psalm 32 (CSB)

How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered!
How joyful is a person whom
the Lord does not charge with iniquity
and in whose spirit is no deceit!

When I kept silent, my bones became brittle
from my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was drained
as in the summer’s heat. Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not conceal my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately.

When great floodwaters come,
they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place;
you protect me from trouble.
You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and show you the way to go;
with my eye on you, I will give counsel.
Do not be like a horse or mule,
without understanding,
that must be controlled with bit and bridle
or else it will not come near you.

10 Many pains come to the wicked,
but the one who trusts in the Lord
will have faithful love surrounding him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice,
you righteous ones;
shout for joy,
all you upright in heart.

You will always regret walking in darkness and trying to hide your sin.

You will never regret walking in the light and confessing your sin.

For those who are reading this, who are walking in darkness right now, may you be challenged by David’s words in Psalm 32 and move your sin into the light of God’s holiness and goodness.

For those who are reading this, who are walking in the light right now, may you be challenged to continue to do so, for that is where freedom, joy, gladness, and faithful love abound.

To all, may the following words in 1 John remind us of truth that leads to freedom, forgiveness, and our fellowship with both the Lord and one another.

1 John 1:5-2:2

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

 My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous one. He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.