“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments. I have stored up your words in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
– Psalm 119:9–11
In Wisconsin, there is a men’s ministry with an interesting name, “No Regrets Ministry.” The goal implied in the title is appealing. How good it would be to live a life so righteously that we would have no regrets. You know, those regrets that make you wince, or frown or feel sad when you think of some of the things you said or did in your past. Decisions made in the heat of anger or deepest anxiety seldom produce good results, but lots of regrets.
How can we even try to live a life with no regrets? First, we have to decide what standard we are going to use to guide and measure the choices we make. For a Christian, our standard is God‘s word, as stated by the Psalmist. We will make our choices “according to your (God’s) word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments.”
Next, in knowing God‘s word we learn about God‘s attributes that should guide our choices. We learn that God is loving, kind, gentle, patient, righteous, forgiving, and just. As we make consequential choices regarding ourselves and others, our actions should reflect these Godly characteristics and glorify God rather than dishonor His holy name. In doing so, we will have no reason for regrets.
Lastly, even though we make a sincere effort to make choices that leave no regrets, we know that we will fall short. We are not perfect. But there is good news – we have a Savior who died so that all of our moral shortcomings can be forgiven if we profess faith in Him. We can live with no regrets as long as we know that we faithfully tried and that we accept in faith the forgiving sacrifice made on the cross. A life truly lived for Jesus has very few regrets.
Prayer: The Psalmist said, “I have stored up your words in my heart that I might not sin against you.“ I pray that you will emblazon your word upon our hearts so that when we make decisions impacting ourselves and others, we will bring glory and credit to your good name. Amen
Rev. Jerry Parker
Retired Associate Pastor