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.)