"Regret, Repentance and Going around that mountain again"
Oh how Satan would love you take a few more trips around
that same old mountain. Or better yet, he would love
to see you sitting sulking, crying and not moving at all at
the bottom of it!
Some times I still fall into this trap. First I will make
a bad choice or God will allow a trial that I wasn't planning on.
Then Satan will come along and tell me
how dreadful I am, how things will never get better, things
will never change, it is probably my fault anyway.
You may spend weeks, months, years in agony. There you
may be again, crying at the bottom of that mountain. Begging God to save
you once again. . After all, God is telling us how terrible we are, right?
He is letting us know how sinful, arrogant, pathetic we are, right?
That's what I believed.
Then, finally a dear friend and pastors wife told me the truth.
If something has happened, sin or trial and you are still spending most of
your time beating yourself up or being paralyzed by emotions out of your
control, that may not be repentance, that very well may be just regret.
Matt 27:3-5 Look at this passage where after handing Christ over to the
Jewish leaders, Judas, he was seized with remorse, he even said "I have
sinned". He throws the money at their feet and runs out and hangs
himself. What did he do with the terrible feelings that proceeded his sin?
They swelled inside of his heart and he killed himself. Do you think you
have ever or will ever in all your whole entire life feel worse about
a sin than Judas did at this moment. Regret not repentance.
Almost the same thing happened in the story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob
stole Esau's birthright from under him. Esau didn't Do anything
to deserve this but it happened. Gen 27:42 says "Esau is consoling
himself with the thoughts of killing you (Jacob). He began to take those
terrible feelings into himself and began to think about killing his
In both these passages. After a wrong doing or after some one has
been wronged they took how they felt and instead of turning it
over to God, they took it into their hearts to deal with.
True repentance will lead to a right relationship with the Lord.
The Greek word and meaning for repentance is
[metanoia] change one's mind, after-thought, a change of mind
affecting the whole life, hence, involving reformation.
If you are repentant, you will want change or want to have
reformation in your life. We do feel bad after something like this,
that's the Holy Spirit working. If Satan is working, you will be stoped
dead in your tracks, hung up on regret. Satan really wants us to
feel hopeless. Feel like nothing can change, continue feeling we
are useless and continue sinning and making more trips
around that mountain or taking things into our own hands instead
of handing them over to God.
2 Cor 10-11 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation
and leaves no regret,but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this
godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness
to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm,
what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done...
If you are a child of God, He promises to be there through it all! Only
we can cut off that fellowship, only we can sabotage our Christian
journey by regret and not repentance, only we can turn our faces
to the ground and not look up and see the path of repentance and
forgiveness that can lead over that mountain and into a clean, clear,
positive relationship with Christ!