Regrets do serve a purpose. When we regret having done something, we learn from it so we can move on and do better. It’s when we decide to pitch a tent in those regrets and live there that they become destructive.
No matter how bad we messed up, wallowing in our sorrows will not help us, or anyone involved in the situation. Reparations may be due: make them. Apologies may be required: offer them. Then move on. At some point we have to lay aside regrets and get on with the business of doing better.
Everything Happens for a Reason
This is a common bit of wisdom offered by secular and Christian sources alike. The first part of Romans 8:28 is often quoted, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,” but what they tend to snip off is the second part of that statement: “to those who are the called according to His purpose.” that means that this statement applies to those who are submitting themselves to the will of God. Those who say, “Yes, I believe there is a God.” but deny His power and sovereignty have no claim in this statement.
We also need to acknowledge that sometimes bad things happen to us because we made bad choices. God does not delight in pushing the chess pieces of our lives around in such a way as to torture us. God does not do this even with the lost: judgement comes when this age is done, not before.
God can use situations to help us grow or to bring us closer to Him … if we let Him. But God does not author these situations. It is important to understand that God does not force anyone to think or behave in a certain way. He created us with free will so we could choose to love and follow Him, or to reject Him. Throughout our lives we are free to choose our path, but we are not free of the consequences, or regrets, of the choices we make.
Sometimes we can be doing everything right and still get caught up in a mess of someone else’s making. If you get broadsided by someone who ran a red light it does not mean you did anything wrong, the other person did, you just happened to be in the way. Sometimes that’s just the way it is with life: we can be doing the best we are able, but some other situation boils over and catches us up in it. In these times we turn to God for strength, not explanations, and we must not saddle ourselves with unwarranted regrets.