Looking Backward Moves Us Forward

Looking Backward Moves Us Forward

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 7:5-12 (NRSVue)

Looking backward can move us forward. One of the key ways of looking back is regret. There are generally four different kinds of regrets:

Foundation Regrets: These are regrets we have for not being responsible, conscientious, or prudent. They are failures of foresight where we overvalue the NOW and undervalue the LATER. I wasted my money and didn’t invest for retirement. I drank too much. Didn’t exercise enough. I’m paying now for all my previous playing and procrastinating. I chose pleasure over pain every time.

Boldness Regrets: This is where we regret a missed opportunity. We failed to take action–and missed out. We played it safe. Fear ruled the day. I didn’t take that leap of faith and chickened out. We were risk-adverse and as a result lost out. Why didn’t I go on that backpacking trip to Europe after college? Boldness regrets deal with personal growth.

Moral Regrets: These regrets involve choices we made that went against our conscience, beliefs, or God’s commands. Harm was done. Maybe it was something we stole. Being disloyal to a spouse or friend. Someone we bullied as a child. If only I did the right thing. Moral regret deals with goodness, falling short, and missing the mark.

Connection Regrets: These regrets involve either a RIFT or DRIFT in relationships–with a spouse, a friend, or family member. If only I’d reached out or kept in touch with that high school friend. Why didn’t I spend more time with that family member that’s gone? This regret deals with love.

We all have regrets. To be human is to regret. The question is–what kind of regret will we have? Will we choose a regret that brings life–a godly grief, as Paul says? The fruit of gracious regret brings maturity, growth, wisdom, and healthy relationships.

Or will we choose a regret that only brings sorrow and self-recrimination–worldly grief? The choice is ours.


April 24, 2022 – Worship Service Bulletin and Bible Study

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