I've been thinking about some things that can trap people in their regretful pasts and how we can move past these regrets.
Here are some keys to moving past regrets:
1. Lack of forgiveness: unforgiveness can keep us trapped in our regrets. Ask God to forgive you and anyone who has harmed you. Then once and for all, "let it go". When we hold things against ourselves or other people, it hurts us more than we realise. Forgive and move on.
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15)
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
2. Secrecy: Often, the thing we regret is also something we're embarrassed or ashamed about. Bring the things hidden in the darkness into the light. Getting things out in the open helps defeat the power that the past has over us. It silences the devil who loves to accuse us and enables us to walk in freedom instead of fear of being found out or embarrassed.
God knows our hearts and every hidden secret, thought and act. We aren't fooling Him. He wants us set free from secrets and regret. Jesus said he [will] bring to light the things hidden in the darkness" (1 Corinthians 4:5). "There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
Talk to God about any hidden things in your heart and your past. If you need to, talk with a trusted Godly friend or counsellor so that they can talk through and pray with you and, in doing so, break the power of any negative secret.
"For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light." (Luke 8:17)
"Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)
3. Toxic "stinking thinking," which we allow to affect our thought patterns, can create and support our regrets. How we deal with anger, disappointment, failures, and hurts can keep us in the "land of regret". The Bible says to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
We are transformed and renewed when we see our life through God's plan and purpose. To think is to change, so think good thoughts.
Replace fears and negativity with God's word. God is in His word. It is powerful to bring change, restoration and renewal in our lives. So pick up your Bible and leave your regrets behind.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will" (Romans 12:2)
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things" (Philippians 4:18).
Letting go of hurts, unforgiveness, negative secrets, and toxic thinking doesn't mean denying circumstances or the seriousness of situations. But it does mean coming to terms with the events that created the regret, so we can let go of any associated pain.
It's our choice whether to hold on to regrets or forgive others, and ourselves and learn from the experience.
We get to choose if our past will dictate our future or whether we move forward with God's grace and help.
Don't live with regrets. Let them go and embrace today and the future.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).
Prayer: Lord, I let go. I let go of past regrets. I want to bring hidden things out into the light so they no longer have the power to harm me. I choose to renew my mind with your word instead of staying trapped in toxic thinking. I thank you for living free from regret because I can do everything through and in Jesus, who strengthens me. In Jesus' name Amen