Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Life of No Regrets

Live a life with no regrets! 

This challenge was issued by my pastor today in his sermon. Personally, I perked up when I heard him say that phrase. This has been the "motto" of our family ever since my oldest daughter was old enough to receive those "pep talks" more commonly known as lectures. This phrase has been issued as a command, a request, and an inspiring anecdote in our household more times than I can count. I'm sure that my children's ears perked up a little this morning too as our pastor was speaking.....well, at least they better have!

You are probably thinking, "Oh sure, listen to her.  She thinks she has it all together!"  I never said that, at all!  Living a life of no regrets is not easy in the least bit, and I never said I had perfected it. In fact, most of the time you learn what it means to live with no regrets by having a few. That is something I am well versed in, regrets.

Is it possible to live a life with no regrets?  What would it look like as we walk it out?

Get it out of your head that living with no regrets means that we all float, instead of walk, from one place to the next, we never make mistakes and we always respond in love, all the while the Hallelujah chorus plays in the background. Nothing could be further from the truth!  A life of no regrets is simple in theory, and difficult in practice.  Am I right?? To live with no regrets is nothing more than making a series of proper choices. It is making sure that at every opportunity we choose to respond with principles based on the Word of God. The problem comes in at the opportunity be given an opportunity to respond with no regrets, means we also have the opportunity to respond regretfully.

Let's take a look at this practically. It's like when your child decides to bring a heaping full bowl of steaming hot potato soup into the living room to eat. Then when she gets just into the room, a room that has carpet of course, she drops the bowl all over.  (Yes, this just happened today!)  You have a choice to make. You can fly off the handle and yell as you harshly belittle, or you can control yourself and deal with the issue instead as you lovingly correct. Or when you have an extremely difficult client, customer, etc. that from the word "go" makes your blood boil. You have a choice to make. You can react or respond.

My pastor has been preaching on the armor of God. As he was preaching about the helmet of salvation, he explained about the armor that a Roman soldier would wear and how their helmet had different colored plumage. That plumage is what would distinguish them among their peers. We, as soldiers of God, are commanded to "put on the helmet of salvation" in Ephesians 6.  We are also commanded to produce fruit or "plumage."  As we guard our mind, we will find ourselves holding our tongue and responding in love.  As we respond in that way we will realize the production of the fruit of the spirit in our lives which is; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (our plumage).  As we respond in love, we are showing the character of Christ. It is then that the plumage in our "helmet" will distinguish us among our peers!!!  How great is that?

You may think that this is all well and good moving on in the future, but what do you do if you already have some regrets in your life? What do you do then?  Don't panic, we all find ourselves there.  All that means is that it is time to start fresh!
1. If your regret is sin, ask God to forgive you.
2. If your regret is against someone, ask them to forgive you.
3. If your regret is in a relationship, make amends.
4. If your regret is not stepping out when God asks you to, refer to #1 and then step out.
You see where I'm going with this......

We make excuses for ourselves about a lot of things especially when we are facing something difficult. In fact, for many difficult things in our lives we may use this excuse, "There is no rule book for this...."  Well friends I have some good news for you.  We have a rule book.....God's Word!  We have everything we need to live a life of no regrets!  Psalm 119:105 says "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."  You do not have to wander around in the dark. Use the light provided for you and LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH NO REGRETS!

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