A friend asked for my thoughts on living with no regrets. To me it’s all about direction. A few years ago the Lord gave me a set of sayings that I call the First Law of Spiritual Progress:
I can’t go back.I can’t stay here.I must go forward.
In truth, there is no such thing as a life lived with no regrets in the literal sense because we all fall short in many ways. Only Jesus truly could say “It is finished” and know that he had perfectly completed all that God had for him to do. The rest of us will struggle with a sense of failure, of jobs left undone, of projects uncompleted, of dreams unfulfilled, of steps not taken, or roads not traveled, or decisions made that now seem like wrong choices. I see no way to escape this.
The question then becomes, what will we do with our failures? If we let them shape us, our failures will dominate us forever. Or we can resolve to believe that in Jesus Christ, we can always make a new start with the Lord.
So the key is to say, “I won’t go back. I’m not going to live in the past. I won’t let my yesterdays define who I am today. And I can’t stay here because life is like a river that rolls ever onward. By God’s grace, I will go forward, one day at a time, one step at a time, trusting God to lead me, following the Lord to best of my ability, believing that with Christ, the best is always yet to come.”
In the spiritual life direction makes all the difference. It’s not where we’ve been but where we’re going that matters.
It’s Monday morning. Which way are you going this week?Let’s resolve to go forward with Christ.
Ray Pritchard pastored in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. Married to Marlene for 38 years, he enjoys being a husband, a father and a grandfather, riding his bike, and playing with Dudley and Gary, beloved basset hounds.