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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Regret and confusion


I really don't know what to do anymore. I'm trying to hear God's voice with all of my heart but nothing is coming to me. About a month ago He was talking to me like crazy and I could hear Him. But when I asked Him to PLEASE help me with a decision, it felt like He left me stranded and failure was my only option. I thought I was making the right choice because it seemed like another door was being opened by Him. But I was wrong. Now I feel like I got the short end of the stick and regret is pouring on me like a waterfall. I guess I can't change what happened or go back at this point. I'm just so confused.

I found this sermon on regret. I thought it was nice.



How to Deal with Regret
As he hung up the phone he knew it was not what he wanted. But it had happened anyway. The voice on the other end had been the attorney, notifying him that his wife had filed for divorce. He knew that the marriage had not been going well. The weekend before she had moved out and now - the phone call.
Over the next several days there were many emotions and thoughts. Marriage isn’t supposed to end like this. It was supposed to be “till death do us part.” At least that is what they had both said to one another. How would his friends respond? How would his family? How would the people at church respond? He knew he had to tell them. He was the pastor.
Then the flood of questions came rushing into his mind. What could I have done different? How could I have prevented this? Am I the one to blame? Then came thoughts of regret. If only I hadn’t said…If only I had said…If only I had done…If only I hadn’t done…If only...
He knew that some of his Christian friends would give him some “pat” answers – you should have prayed more – you should have read your Bible more – the “you should” just raised the level of guilt. They were supposed to be friends – fellow Christians – who were supposed to help him through this time - but they turned out to be no better them the friends of Job. The pat answers they gave him didn’t take away his hurt. They didn’t solve the problem. His true friends helped a lot. They stood by him and offered words of encouragement. That helped. They knew that the divorce rate among Christians was the same as that on non-Christians – they came in to comfort rather then to condemn. Having true friends is vital to make it through tough times. He also had a personal relationship with God and that helped. Of course that helped most of all. The relationship he had with God enabled him to endure. He knew God – and knew three facts about God that he would cling to.
Fact One: God was not surprised by the divorce.
Fact Two: God was in control of his life.
Fact Three: God had promised He would never leave him or forsake him.
God became his rock. These facts about God became his anchor. His relationship with God gave him hope. Because of that relationship he would not throw in the towel – he would not give up.
How do you deal with life when things don’t go as you planned? How do you deal with past mistakes or wrong decisions? How do you deal with regret? You know what I’m talking about – those thoughts that we all have – if only I hadn’t said – if only I hadn’t done – if only… How do you deal with regret?
When a friend asked: “Surely you must regret the loss of your marriage?” His answer was yes and no. “I regret that the relationship broke up. But I don’t feel guilt. You see regret is unresolved guilt. I have already dealt with the guilt. Take care of the guilt - you take care of the regret.”
Sure he is saddened that the marriage ended that way. It is not what he hoped for – it is not what he wanted. But he does not live a life full of regret. How do you deal with regret? How do you deal with past mistakes? How do you deal with guilt? I’ll give you 6 steps.
1. Pray that God will clearly reveal your part in the matter.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
James 1:5
2. If there is sin confess it.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
3. If there is any way to make the situation better – do it.
Regret deals with situations you have control over.
“If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Matthew 5:23-24
4. Forgive everybody involved in the situation – including yourself.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
5. Glean wisdom from the situation.
“How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold.” Proverbs 3:13-14
6. Trust God.
“And we know that God causes all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose
.” Romans 8:28

3 comments:

  1. I think that sometimes we have 'desert seasons' happen in our Christian walk to strengthen us. Have you ever thought that perhaps the reason the Lord didn't give your heart an audible answer, or a feeling of what to do on the situation, might be because He thinks you are strong enough in Him that whatever decision you decide to make can be, and WILL BE used to His glory? I've faced certain issues like this in my Christian walk, and I found out that God wanted me to take a leap of faith out into the silent desert...He wanted to know that I trusted in Him enough that if I would just make my own decision and rest in the fact that He would be there to catch me that everything would be fine...no matter WHAT DECISION I came to.

    Sorry for being so wordy...I just know how you feel and I hope He will start to speak to you again, whether it be in a loud command to your heart, or in a silent whisper.

    Blessings,
    Sarah
    daughteroftheking89.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. God sees your heart and He uses it ALL for good. Look for the good in it. Don't dwell in the could've, would've or should've. Just learn the lesson for the next test and move on.

    This post was awesome! Thanks for sharing. I needed it too.

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Thanks for commenting..!