I’ve lived long enough to have frequent moments of regret. I’ve done and said far too many stupid things. I’ve missed far too many great opportunities. I’ve neglected far too many lovely people. And far too many times I’ve said “Why did I…?” or “Why didn’t I?”
Before you start fretting on my behalf and attempting to guide me into some positive-thinking techniques, let me make it clear that I’m not ruled by my past mistakes. I’m not depressed or obsessed over any of them, thank the Lord. Whatever I did wrong in the past, and whatever I didn’t do that I should have done, I’ve forgiven myself for (though I’ve had to do it many times) just as my heavenly Father has forgiven me.
No, I don’t dwell on the past in any unhealthy fashion. But sometimes the memories just pop up in my mind, and I can’t help cringing and metaphorically kicking myself.
After having one of those “Why did I?” moments today, I suddenly realized that not one of them can be blamed on anything I’ve done in faith. Here I exclude those notions that “The Lord told me” to do or say such-and-such. Instead I’m referring to steps I’ve taken in response to what I’ve learned about the Biblical, Godly way of life. I could not put one of my mistakes or failures down to keeping a commandment, or following some Biblical advice, or putting into practice a principle from the Word. All those things have given me nothing but blessing, and put me on a straight path in life. This to me is one more evidence that what I have in my Bible is the Word of the living God.
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless” (Psalm 18:30 NIV).
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 ESV).