Can you relate to this guy who just spent 20 minutes in the freezing cold only to find out when he hit lock fob that he had cleaned off the wrong car?
Proverbs 14:12; 16:25; There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
Sometimes we think we are doing the right thing but we are not, other times we know we are doing the wrong but think we will get away with it, or we delude ourselves into thinking what we are doing isn’t that bad.
When we begin to ignore God’s way and start taking our own advice again, disaster is just around the corner. I know, because I have been there.
Proverbs 3:5-8; Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Jeremiah 17:9-10; The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.
I am going to begin to blog post about my shortcomings, and miss-steps. Maybe someone will benefit from my life’s errors and wrestling with my flesh. I came to a point in my life where I had to make a decision; go forward with God, or walk away. I had said something I could never take back. My extended family had abandon me, and I was left wondering if God would as well?
Peter or Judas?
I remembered two men in the bible who also wept with regret as the revelation of what they had done hit them between the eyes. The first man was Peter who was one of Jesus inner circle. He was an eye witness to Jesus’ miraculous ministry and his love. Peter disowned Jesus one day after telling Jesus he was willing to die for him.
Luke 22:61-62; At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.
The second man was Judas, a man who had expected Jesus to be the one who would lead the Jews out from under Roman oppression. When it was clear Jesus was not the man he expected him to be, Judas betrayed him to men who wanted Jesus dead. Realizing what he had done to an innocent man, Judas was overcome with regret.
Matthew 27:3; When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse.
Here are two men who were close to Jesus and after behaving egregiously towards him handled the aftermath two very different ways.
Matthew 27:3-5; …So he [Judas] took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.” Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.
Regret Vs Repentance
There is no reference that Judas sought forgiveness from God, or that he believed Jesus was who he claimed to be. Although Judas regretted what he had done, there is no indication there was any repentance for what he had done.
Peter wept bitterly and there is no more mention of him until after the resurrected of Jesus. When Mary and the other woman went to the tomb an angel told them that Jesus had risen and to tell His disciples the news. Peter was singled out for special mention.
Mark 16:6; But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.
The difference between Judas and Peter seems to be repentance. Most people regret actions when they are caught. Keep in mind that regret is self-centred behaviour. Repentance on the other hand is others-centred. also, regret is not repentance. I have learned that regret is about what I have done in the past and leads no where, and repentance is about what I am going to do for the future and leads to change.
So, after my own bitter regret was leading me into depression, I chose to move onto repentance as the apostle Paul advises.
2 Corinthians 7:10-11; Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
I can’t fix the damage I have done in others lives over my life, but I can be a better disciple of Jesus and advocate for those I have harmed, through prayer and any practical means possible. Only God can heal hurts and hearts and fix the unfixable.
James 5:16; The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Philippians 3:8-9; …that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law [doing good deeds], but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Am I a righteous person? No, Jesus is righteous and as He lives in me, His righteousness is what God sees when I remain in obedience, then God hears my prayers.
Now, whenever I think of the damage I have done, God has mercifully turned my crushing regret into a more manageable sadness.
This is my prayer
Psalm 27:7-11; [King David] Hear me, O Lord, when I cry out! Have mercy on me and answer me! My heart tells me to pray to you, and I do pray to you, O Lord. Do not reject me! Do not push your servant away in anger! You are my deliverer! Do not forsake or abandon me,…
Even if my father and mother abandoned me, the Lord would take me in. Teach me how you want me to live;
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