I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV
We all make big and small decisions in life. At times, we make the wrong decisions and wish we could have a chance to re-do the decision. Hindsight is always correct. When small wrong decisions come about, it would probably annoy or dismay us. But what about major decisions in life – how can we ensure we will not regret them as time passes? When we look back at our lives on our deathbeds, there is no guarantee that we will not have any regrets – but it is not too late to avoid situations that we would regret later in life.
So, How Can We Live a Life with No Regrets?
1. Live a God-first and God-centred life. We make decisions that would please God. Many times, those decisions are not morally or ethically based. We want to seek the mind of God and approach the issue with God’s Kingdom in mind, even if the issue seems non-spiritual.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:33 ESV
God does not demand perfection in decision-making; He wants our hearts and minds to conform to His will, though. He wants our faithfulness day in and day out, 24/7.
2. Do the loving thing, even if it is the difficult or even the painful option. One sure way to regret something later is to let our emotions rule our minds. Have the mind of Jesus in difficult or emotionally charged situations. Do not make big decisions when you are emotional.
3. Seek to serve God with your God-given talents and skills. Live a life surrendering your time, talents, and energy for God’s glory. If we seek a Godly life, there are fewer chances to make bad and regrettable decisions.
4. Know that God can redeem our past mistakes.
And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28 ESV
God is a God of second or third [and more chances. If we are honest with ourselves, lay our mistakes before the Lord, and eagerly seek Him, God will bless our situation. Sometimes, it might mean we need to recompense or make restitution for our past mistakes.
5. See guidance and counsel when you are making life-changing decisions.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.Proverbs 12:15 ESV
It is good to listen to our leaders who care for us when we make life-changing decisions, such as decisions on our state of life, career, and significant financial decisions.
6. Sometimes, the consequence of a bad decision we need to bear [and forbear] the rest of our lives, but we can be confident in living your daily life with the assurance that God will always be with us in the good times and the bad, in good and bad decisions, as long as we aim to love Him and please Him.
Other Scripture References
1. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)
2. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10 ESV)
3. Other references: Proverbs 3:5-6; Proverbs 11:4; and Proverbs 19:20.
For Personal Reflection or Group Discussion
- Have you had any major regrets in your life? What can you do about it?
- How strong is your control of your emotions? Do you let your emotions dictate your decisions?
Top image credit: Christians raising crosses to celebrate Christ’s victory, photo from Bigstock.com, © by Rawpixel.com, stock photo ID: 149189999. Used with permission.
Tom Caballes is a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with seven branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters [with his son-in-law and grand-daughter] live in Wellington, New Zealand.