Living Without Regretby David Ramer on 08/30/12
At the end of our life, wouldn’t it be a tragedy to look back on our years with regret? Unfortunately, many of us know family and friends who, near death, came to the realization that they had somewhat wasted their life with only little, temporal rewards. The only antidote I have found for the symptoms of regret is to live well today. We can't undo the past, but we can control how we live today. By using discipline in making excellent choices of our activities today is amazingly remedial. It doesn't change the past but it makes our regret less intrusive in the present.
Philippians 3:13-15 says, “one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”
I do not want to look in the eyes of Jesus on Judgment Day and tell Him that I consciously spent one day or one hour walking on the outer peripheral moral boundaries, knowing that at the end of the day, week, or month I would repent, and try to make it up. I assure you, the day you meet Him eye to eye, you will wish you had never had one day like that. I have plenty of sins I have committed spontaneously that I did not plan; they just happen, and I hate all of them.
Our goal is not to just make it to heaven; our goal is to be found faithful in His Presence in His sight on that day. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 says, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
On judgment day, I want to look Jesus in the eye and say with the fullness of my strength, my weakness, and brokenness, “I gave myself to You; not to please this group, that group, or to get a reputation, but because I knew that one day, you and I would talk.” That is the logic and reason you and I want to have now. The grace of God is big enough to forgive all our sins; but the grace of God will not immediately erase and cover all of our careless living and compromise. In eternity, the grace of God will not remove that regret immediately. For some time we will have a sense of how we could have lived more fully in obedience in our love relationship with Him.
Matthew 10:39 says,” He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” If we seek to preserve and hold on to our life through the pursuit of our own fleshly desires of making ourselves happy, we lose all that makes life worth living. Our focus will distract us from looking at the eternally important things in life. We must choose to live our life as a servant with an eternal perspective making the decision to lay down our life and self-seeking desires.
Father, in light of your Kingdom principles, we chose today to lay our lives before You and live with no regret. We do not look at the natural things surrounding us, or give into the fleshly desires because they are temporal and carnal. We want to invest our life in the eternal things that are unseen, things that only you can measure. We forget the things of the past and press on toward the mark that we would experience the eternal pleasure of hearing You say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Amen.