We’ve all done and said things we wish we could go back and undo. These things can follow us throughout our lives, and to a certain extent part of living through this earth existence is learning to live with regret and guilt without allowing them undue influence. But often our mistakes take a heavy toll on how well we live now. Both Guilt and Regret are actions of our past that unnecessarily rob both our present and our future of the freedom and life that God has made available to us.
Guilt and Regret involve re-living something that was said or done that, if given the opportunity, we would go back and not do because of the negative consequences or effects on others or ourselves.
Guilt vs. Regret
For our purposes, the difference between guilt and regret is whether we were aware of the potential hurt we caused. Regret involves having done something unintentionally that we hadn’t at the time realized would have negative consequences. We hadn’t meant to hurt someone, but we did, and we regret it. But Guilt involves having done or said something knowing that there would be negative consequences; we intentionally caused hurt feelings or damaged relationships or worse.
Fortunately we don’t have to learn to live with the wounds of our past mistakes. Through forgiveness, and understanding our present spirit nature, we can be healed of all wounds, even those that are self-inflicted from our own mistakes and deliberate actions. When we realize that we are by nature forgiving beings, we can learn how to extend forgiveness even to ourselves.
God has already forgiven you. Can you accept that?
Guess what! You have already forgiven you! Can you accept that?
Then what’s the problem?
You may not have dealt with the consequences of your actions, you may not believe you have been forgiven, you may have an unhealed wound, or you may even be believing a lie from one of our enemies that is intended to keep you trapped in the past.
Here’s how to find out:
“Lord, do I experience any guilt that You’d like to talk to me about? Yes / No
Please bring to my attention any area of guilt that interferes with Your purposes in my life.
I forgive myself for having done this thing, not because I feel like I deserve forgiveness, but because I am a forgiving person.
I know I have received forgiveness from You. I also commit to asking for and accepting forgiveness of those involved that I have knowingly wronged as You direct.
Lord, is there anything else I need to do in order to receive healing and freedom regarding this guilt?
Is there any interference from any enemy that is preventing me from enjoying freedom in this area?
I thank You now, and put this to rest. Even when it tries to return to wound me again, I will be grateful, knowing that I am forgiven permanently. Thank you Lord.”
(Repeat for Regret.)
Most of us struggle with some aspect of being motivated to deal with doing things we don’t like doing. When it comes to the Christian Walk, we often look for internal motivation to keep us going with the disciplined life that it takes to know God as He desires. But True Motivation is always an outgrowth of our goals. Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing? Once you understand your purpose here on this earth, you will begin to be motivated by Enlightened Self-Interest.
God Is Sovereign
He’s going to do what He wants. In this world and in your life. In your spirit you have already agreed with His plans for you, and are actively cooperating with Him as He works in, through and for you. Herein lies the conundrum: If God is sovereign, and is going to do what He wants anyway, what is OUR role? Why should we DO anything?
The Real Goal
You’re not here on this earth for God’s benefit, but for your own. Your soul is fighting to maintain its control, even refusing to be healed. You have already given God permission to join your soul to your spirit, relinquishing control to God through your spirit. Here is where the battle lies. Your soul wants to maintain control, even in areas it’s already failed, over and over again. So God makes the most of our time here on earth and creates circumstances in our lives in which our soul’s strength fails, and we are forced to turn to Him for healing, life, encouragement and direction. Yes, those bad circumstances are from Him. For you. You will have to learn how to deal with them at some point; we don’t get out of doing the hard work just by dying.
So when those difficulties arise, whether an external circumstance or an internal struggle, we embrace the opportunity to turn to Him and be changed. We don’t know what’s next for us, after we leave this Earth-bound existence, but it’s likely it will build on top of what we have been changed into here. We know that it will be God-created and loving toward us. There are wonders we are to understand now, and wounds to be healed now, and understanding that is for us now, so that we live as spirit now. This is the work to be done. It is in our best interest to do the work now, for if it is not done now, it will just have to be done later, in addition to the work of what’s next. We don’t know what that will be, but we trust that since He has created circumstances for spirit living now, it is in all of our best interests to learn to walk in it now.
“Lord, give me a hunger and thirst for everything that you want me to have now. Don’t let me be satisfied with anything less. I don’t want to put off till someday what you want me to be today. I agree that I have already given you permission to do whatever is necessary to make the most of my time here on earth. Thank You!”