During the last week, of each year, we bring out resolutions, to live by, of the upcoming new year. We resolve to exercise, go to church more, be nicer and drop a few pounds.
I know we have the best of intentions looking forward, so we try to do better. For most of us, we do pretty well with our resolutions say until, February. But do we also take time to reflect on the past year of what has taken place in our lives?
I believe there are four areas of retrospection in which we look back to see what has taken place: the positive events, the negative events, the missed opportunities and the do-overs.
The positive and negative aspects are a given. It’s easy to see what was good and what was bad. But sometimes it’s a little more difficult to see what was missed. This leads me to the fourth category of looking back; The do-over.
The do-over is the most dangerous of the four. Making a choice and then regretting the choice can lead to the following:
• Fear – being afraid to make a decision.
• Bitterness – anger because of results.
• Apathy – non care because of rejection.
• Inferiority – lack of confidence due to rejection.
All of these feelings lead to regret. Regret leads to missed opportunities in the future. What we need as followers of Christ is the opposite of the four feelings of regret. The opposite feelings are:
• Fear – Faithfullness.
• Bitterness – Joy.
• Apathy – Love.
• Inferiority – Purpose.
The bible calls these four feelings as “fruit of the spirit.” Galatians 5:22 says “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
God wants us to live a life with no regrets. Erma Bombeck, who wrote a syndicated column with over 30,000,000 readers put it this way in a column titled “If I Had My Life To Live Over Again?”
“I would invite friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains. I would have never bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, later, let’s get washed for dinner. There would be more I love yous, more I am sorrys, but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it, live it, and never give it back.”
Let us resolve in 2016 to live a life with no regrets. Let us love like Jesus. Let us think about the words we use. Let us be givers and not takers. Happy New Year!