1 Timothy 1:15-16, "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.  Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life."

 I struggle with regret!  I will confess that there are times in my life that I would like a do-over.  Just this past morning a song came on the radio and it transported me back to high school.  A time when I was all about myself.  I hurt so many people and was not the person God wanted me to be.  Oh how I wasted so much of my youth on so much that did not matter.  To be honest, my past is full of actions done by me or others that I would like to erase from history.  These past experiences bring me feelings of shame, embarrassment and regret.  But can we have a life without these experiences ????

As I think about how nice it would be to change my history, I can't help but then appreciate how my history has changed me.  My mistakes have made me a better father, husband and friend.  God through His Word has taught me that His love transcends my mistakes, that His love is demonstrated most because of my mistakes, AMEN.  Without my past, I would not have the wisdom of my present.

Each day I find people struggling with the same regret that I have.  They believe that this regret makes them flawed, they struggle seeing the good in themselves over the bad of their past.  How difficult it is to live today for all it's promise and opportunity when we are stuck with the decisions of yesterday.  Regret and guilt does not have to be a bad thing, it can be a motivating thing.  Regret and guilt can help us appreciate how much more we are loved despite our past.  We are valued not because of what we do, but because of who He is and who we are in Him!  You see Christ didn't come to this world for those who didn't need Him, He came for the rest of us.

Paul knew of his many sins and regrets and writes in 1 Timothy, "..I found mercy...Christ demonstrates His perfect patience...", God's patience and love transcends my actions, and offers a wonderful example of love for others and ourselves to follow through His grace.  Regret is a part of life, a part we can't escape, but it is also a part that points us back to the real source of peace.  Peace is not a life without regret, but a life of restoration though Jesus Christ our Lord.  You see peace will not come from perfect living, if even this was a possibility.  It comes from realizing our imperfection and God's provision for this imperfection in the form of His Son. 

Today I live with my regret, and I am quite certain I will have more, but this regret allows me to see that I am more than my actions, I am a child of God.  And I can live with that....

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