Ditch Your Regrets

January 2, 2019

This year’s resolution? I will jettison all regrets about my past.   “Jettison” means “to throw overboard, to lighten the load.”  The Bible teaches us that if you want to enjoy life, there are some things you’ve got to get rid of, because they are weighing you down and wearing you out.  The first thing you’ve got to get rid of are your regrets about the past.  We all have regrets.  Because nobody’s perfect.  We’ve all got some skeletons in the closet.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, once decided to play a prank on some of the most prominent men in England.  He sent out an anonymous note that read simply: “All is found out.  Flee at once.”  He just wanted to see what would happen.  Within 24 hours, all 8 men had left the country.  I’m sure we could find out certain things about you that would make you want to flee this service right now.  We all have regrets.  The only problem with regret is, it doesn’t work.  It cannot change the past.  It can only make you miserable in the present.   The Bible says learn from it and move on.  The Bible says, “Forget what happened in the past and don’t dwell on events from long ago, because I’m doing something new.”  (Isaiah 43:19)  Underline: “Don’t dwell.”  To dwell means to live someplace.  Don’t live in the past.   Learn, not live.  Learn from, not live in. Everybody has setbacks.  Everybody blows it.  Everybody has failures.  In fact, failure is the only way you succeed.  You cannot succeed in life without failing.  Why?  Because that’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t work.  So never call it a failure; call it an education.   Some of us in this room are highly educated!  We’re good at failing.  If there’s a piece of advice I could give you as your friend, I would say this to you:  Don’t waste your failures.  Learn from them.  Try something and if that doesn’t work, learn from it and try something else.  The Apostle Paul told us his secret: “One thing I do is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.”  (Philippians 3:13-14)  The starting point of joy is to let go of the past.  Jettison all regrets – the grief, the guilt, the grudges. 

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