Words of Hope: Reclamation Instead of Regret  

I have been considering how regret is a stronger emotion than gratitude. Regret can overrun our desire for gratitude. It can invade our thoughts and interrupt our thankfulness.  

Like anything wild and deadly, it must be managed consistently, persistently, and with all our will. I don’t think Dad understood the toxicity of regret until late in life. It doesn’t seem very dangerous and at times seems almost spiritual. Yet regret is different from repentance. Regret keeps us in our ego. It keeps us in our bitterness. Regret is without hope. 
Repentance on the other hand turns what seems like a mistake or a deep sorrow into hope. What seems irreparable can be redeemed for good.  

Dad regretted his life of stress when he got cancer. He struggled with regret because he felt his stress and bitterness contributed to his deadly disease. It wasn’t until he began to see that God could use his cancer for good that his regret began to leave.  

It’s not enough to want the regret to leave, we must ask God for hope and for reclamation, otherwise we continue to stay in our ego. Our ego tricks us into believing if we try hard enough, we will manage to stop regretting, and we will be more thankful. This is futile thinking. The focus is in the wrong place…our strength, our power, our will. 

Instead, as we shift from trying to change ourselves to fixing our eyes with trust and love on the God of love, we are reborn.  

We claim by faith God can take whatever has been before and use it for good. We believe as we confess, admit, repent, reveal, disclose, and surrender, we stop trying to manufacture the miracle ourselves. We choose by faith to believe that God is doing something miraculous. Our weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, difficulties are all part of the ingredients of the miracle He is doing.  

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10