I pray you took the challenge set for you last month in reading Romans 8. It is one of the most fascinating chapters in the Bible. It deals with our past lives, hurts, disappointments and regrets brought on by our sinful nature. Yet it encourages us as believers to know that we do not have to live according to the sinful nature, but we can and should live by the spirit.
What types of thoughts do have concerning your past? How do those thoughts affect your emotions, choices, and actions? The regret of past mistakes and hurts can become a negative controlling factor in every area of lives if left unchecked. Roman 8:6 says, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace…” This scripture contrasts the difference between the mind of the sinful man and the mind controlled by the Spirit and the results: death or life and peace. Too often believers, who are new creations, are still allowing negative thoughts and regret to control them. This type of thought/life process leads to low-self esteem, negative self-talk, fear, frustration, or according to the scripture: death. The list could go on and on. The worst part of allowing regret to take over your mind according to the Bible is, “Those controlled by the sinful nature (mind) cannot please God.” (Rom 8:8) That is a price too high to pay, in order to hold on to something (regret) that gives very little in return. I will not downplay your personal story regret, nor the pain or scars that it has left on your psyche. But you have a choice to make. You can either remain in the pit of regret guided by a sinful mind, or you can choose freedom provided by a mind controlled by the Spirit yielding life and peace. The choice is obvious.
The shift from the sinful mind to the mind controlled by the Spirit is not always an easy transition. The primary requirement is to understand that, “we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) A mind controlled by the sinful nature acts on what it can see, hear, touch, smell, taste, and touch. However, the mind controlled by the Spirit acts according to faith in God, it’s desire is to please God. “And without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) Undoubtedly someone is thinking, “Well you don’t know what I did, what I passed up, the bad choices I made!” And I can only say you are right. I don’t know exactly what you did or what you have been through. But I do know that there is nothing too big or too small for God to handle. I do know that God can take the broken pieces of your past and re-create the most beautiful master piece that no one could ever tell that it had ever been broken. I encourage you to begin to look at life not through eyes of what was or could have been, but through eyes that see the impossible as possible.
Let me leave you with this encouragement. “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11) The Spirit of God is living in you! Make it personal and read that aloud say, “The Spirit of God is living in ME!!!” If that is true my brothers and sisters there is nothing NO-THING that is too old, too bad, or too dead in your life that God can’t deal with through His Spirit. If you let Him, He will not just deal with it but He will renew your mind, restore relationships that were shattered, He will reinstate you to lost positions, He will re-establish His purpose in your life, and He will also resurrect ever dream He dreamed for you.
As we continue our search for the cure for regret, we will discover what it takes to move from renewing our minds and thoughts to changing our actions.