Thinking back over the past 5-6 days, any regrets? Yes, of course we all have them. We tend to beat ourselves up over our regrets. Living without regrets takes being intentional about the choices that are made, regardless of the situation. We regret not staying on a diet, not exercising, not staying on budget, not taking the time for a daily devotional, not saying prayers that are very much needed, not holding the tongue….this list can go on and on and on, can’t it? Everyone has a weakness! It’s not just you or me.
Regrets are those things that make us feel uncomfortable inside. Because we want to change. To be better, to act better, to speak better, to do better. To be more disciplined, more of doing the right things. So, how do we? How do we live life without regrets?
To find help, we need to turn to Jesus. Say to yourself, I’m turning with confidence to the throne of Grace. Chuck Swindoll shared in his video “Resisting Temptation”, “Claim the supernatural strength of Jesus Christ. Human strength is not enough.”
Jesus as God/Man experienced temptations. He spent 40 days in the wilderness, preparing for the start of his ministry. Being tempted by the devil. In Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 1 vs. 12, it also reads that “the angels were ministering to him”. He wasn’t going it alone. We heard during Sunday’s message, the top three regrets most people experience fall into these categories: Food – Power - Popularity. The Devil’s first attempt was food. Turn these stones into bread. Jesus replied, “Man will not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Food). Then the Devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and said, “I can give you all this domain….”, to which Jesus answered…”You shall worship the Lord your God and serve only Him” (Power). And the third time the Devil tested Jesus saying …..standing on the highest point of the temple, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ”He will command His angels concerning you, to protect you, and on their hands they will lift you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone” (in other words, Popularity). To which Jesus replied, “You are not to put to the test the Lord your God”. Jesus had the strength to reject Satan’s temptations. It’s His strength that we need to claim when we are tempted by the Devil, to resist our temptations, to not have regrets.
It’s the strength we see in the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:17 “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it”.
So, what do we do when we are tempted? We are to flee. Divert our eyes, our ears, our tendencies toward sin that tempts us. Chuck Swindoll says, “They turn to sin when, *they have not claimed God’s Supernatural strength; *they determined in their hearts not to resist; *they did not flee. In Corinthians 10:13 we read that God provides a way out so that we can endure. He is always with us, even in our temptations.
Andy Stanley addresses power and popularity in his series “The Comparison Trap”. He says that envy and jealously are the root of all comparisons. Comparison drives wedges in relationships. There is no win in comparison. James 3:16 says “For where you have envy and selfish ambition there you find disorder and every evil practice.” The Comparison Trap is just that, a trap! Comparison diminishes your uniqueness and your unique potential. Instead we are to celebrate what God has given us, recognize what God has entrusted to us. I have a plan for YOU, declares the Lord. It’s our uniqueness! Our Heavenly Father compares us to no one! He made us just as he wanted us to be. He didn’t shortchange any part of us. It’s us comparing what we have, who we are to others in what they have and who they are. There is no win in comparison. The win, says Andy, is to “bring God maximum glory and us (you & me) maximum satisfaction.” Walk in His glory, His love for you, in His perfect plan for you. No comparison…. No regrets! Be satisfied in who you are.
Don’t go it alone, claim the Supernatural strength of Jesus Christ. Be accountable if necessary, to a trusted companion. Make the turnaround, confess your inability to change by yourself, ask for help through the One who made us, to give us what we need to begin a life of living with no regrets.
How do we start living with no regrets? We need spiritual nourishment daily, be in His Word. God alone, all Powerful, seek His strength. It may not always be popular to live in His ways, yet we hear in Jesus words, “You are not to put to the test the Lord you God”, He commands us to be faithful so that others can see Him through how we live our lives.
Larry & Darlene