IS REGRET STEALING YOUR JOY?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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Years ago, shortly after college, I made a career decision that I later came to regret. At the time, I had not been born again, and I didn’t know enough to pray and ask God for direction before making a decision. Also, I had no clue God had a plan for my life far different from my own plan for my life.

Over the subsequent years, that career decision filled me with regret. When I finally accepted Christ as my Savior, He began working on my heart to show me that the decision I had made would redound to my benefit. Indeed, now nearly half a century later, I can say that what I thought was a wrong decision did, indeed, redound to my great good.

How?

1–That seemingly wrong decision set me on a path that eventually led me to an encounter with Christ.

2–That seemingly wrong decision resulted in my marrying my wonderful husband of almost 49 years.

3–That seemingly wrong decision moved me into God’s true calling for my life–to write for Him.

What about you? Is there something in your life you regret? A sin? A decision? A lost opportunity? No matter what you wish you hadn’t done or hadn’t said, or had done and had said, when you turn to Jesus–in repentance, if necessary–He will bring good out of your regret.

Regret is a form of grief, and like all grief, it needs to be resolved in order for life to go on as God meant it to go on.  But remember this: Jesus took our griefs. In Isaiah 53: 4, we read this: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” So give your regret to Jesus and receive His joy in exchange.

The Apostle Paul had much to regret. Before encountering Christ, He murdered Christians. Yet, Paul said this about his life: I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” Philippians 3: 13. 

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8: 28

Let’s follow Paul’s example and choose to forget the past and to look forward to what lies ahead. For those who are in Christ, what lies ahead can only be for our good.

My Prayer for You Today: Lord Jesus, I ask You to comfort all those suffering from regret. Give them revelation knowledge that, in Your mercy and grace, You will cause everything that has blighted their past to work for their good because they love You and are called according to Your purpose. Amen. 

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you experienced regret over something in your past? If so, how have you dealt with it?

TWEETABLE:  “IS REGRET STEALING YOUR JOY? by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“The Soul Roots of Sickness – Part Four”

“The Soul Roots of Sickness – Part One”

“The Soul Roots of Sickness – Part Two”

“The Soul Roots of Sickness – Part Three”

“Sex and Soul Ties” 

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Are You a Victim of the “If Onlys”?

Three Tips for Handling Regret

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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If you’ve lived a few years on this earth, you’ve most likely made some decisions you’ve regretted. Perhaps you made a poor financial decision that now has you in tremendous debt. Or perhaps you had an abortion and are now tormented with agonizing feelings of guilt. Whatever the case may be, how you handle your regret will determine the kind of future you will live.

Young sad girl sitting alone in an empty room

Some people have the ability simply to face their mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Others, however, have a very difficult time letting go of the past. Instead of accepting the fact that they’ve missed the mark, they allow the mistake to torment them. They keep thinking about it, wondering what their life would be like if they had not made the mistake. They allow themselves to become a victim of the if onlys.

The Bible, God’s manual for man, addresses every problem you will ever face, including the problem of the if onlys. Let’s take a look at what it says.

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:13-14: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Before giving his life to Jesus Christ, Paul had Christians killed. He would drag men, women, and children out of their homes and turn them over to the authorities to be beaten, imprisoned, and murdered.

After he had an astounding encounter Christ, Paul deeply regretted what he had done and asked God to forgive him. Paul could have allowed the memory of his past sins to stand in the way of being all that God created him to be, but Paul refused to do so.

The above verse reveals the three steps he took to overcome the regrets of his past. These same three steps will also help you to get rid of the if onlys of your past.

1) Forget those things that are behind.Great!” you say. “How do you forget the mistakes of the past?” First of all, you admit them. Secondly, you repent of them by asking God to forgive you and by determining that you will not make those mistakes again. Third, you decide, by an act of your will, to put your mistakes behind you.

God, in His great mercy, has made provision to cover all our mistakes, our poor decisions, our regrets. That provision is Jesus Christ. He’s called our Redeemer because He redeems us from the past. To redeem means to release from blame.

Jesus releases you from the blame of the sins of your past. Not only that, He gives you a bright future. He says, “My plans for you are for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). All you have to do is invite Him into your life and let Him redeem you.

2) Reach forward to those things which are ahead. Living in the past is like trying to drive while continually looking in your rear-view mirror. Sooner or later, you will crash. The same is true in life. If you keep looking back, you’ll never get to your destination.

Concentrate, instead, on those things that lie ahead. What are those things? They are the dreams that God has placed in your heart. Dreams energize your life and pull you into the future. The Bible says that a person without a dream will die (Proverbs 29:18). He may not die outwardly, but he will surely die inwardly.

3) Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The greatest goal that you can pursue is Jesus Christ. As you look to Him to save you, you will find all of your if onlys slipping away. He Himself will cut the cables that have kept you emotionally bound to your past, and, like an eagle, you will soar joyfully to the great heights of freedom for which God created you.

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm Gonzalez, regrets that she did not have more time with her dead husband. Join her as she struggles to overcome regret and move into the future God has ordained for her.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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Tel. 856-488-3580
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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: