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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Byers

Enough is Enough!

Are you naming your future from faith or from regret? Regret is common to us all, but it can disable our future by locking us into the past. Sadness, remorse, and disappointment over something in the past—whether something done or left undone, said or left unsaid—can torment our mind. We may keep wishing things could have been different, but there is no power living in the past and this introspection consumes our vitality.

Regret may seem reasonable, but it’s a form of self-punishment that:

Disturbs our emotions with constant reproach and disquiet;

Paralyzes our hopes and sabotages our future;

Stops our expectations of good things and deflates our dreams and destiny;

Causes us to languish and interrupts forward motion;

Distorts the way we see, especially the way we see ourself;

Keeps us from receiving God’s forgiveness, love, and redemption;

Holds us in a cycle of guilt, introspection, and depression.

Some years ago, the Lord showed me an image of an old 50s car with fins like the Chevy Bel Air. I was driving it down a blacktop road in the country and up ahead I saw a large yellow wooden barrier, the kind erected to indicate the end of the road. I was curious. Then the Lord said: “When you get in this old car and drive down that same old road, it will always be a dead end. It will never take you anywhere good!” I was seeing a vivid picture of regret!

Regret is not God’s tool to keep us in line. God invites us to name him as Redeemer, to believe in his redemptive desire to forgive and take the ashes of the past and bring them to beauty. We don’t have to keep trying by our own efforts to make up for the past, or to cover it up to be a more acceptable person. We can freely come to him with every broken thing and trust his redeeming power. Then the past doesn’t have power to define us or to create our identity based in our mistakes and brokenness.

If we live in the power of repentance, it will break the lock of regret and lead us into the grace of God. A good exercise is to write out all your regrets and bring them to the Cross. Then press a reset button—really decide enough is enough. We have brought the past to the Cross and done what we can about it. When it comes to mistakes, we should fix them if possible and move on. If we can’t fix them, then make peace with God and ourself and move forward in confident trust. Whatever we do, we have to move on and stop driving that car down a dead-end road!

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