A river in montana

I read it somewhere in a book. Time is like a river. It keeps on flowing forward and you can’t make it flow backward. Don’t we all wish we could get a do-over on so many things in life. If only we could make time flow back to the moments we wish we could change.

If I have learned anything in my almost seventy years, it is that no one lives a life of no regret. The real problem is, we remember the decision, the words we wish we hadn’t spoken, the action we wish we hadn’t taken, but we don’t always remember all the influences and circumstances that made that action in that moment seem right.

“No one lives a life of no regret.”

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! Grace makes us able to live with ourselves and with the regrets that haunt us. What sweet release to know we are forgiven when our repentance is genuine!

When we are able, of course, we should reach out to others who may have been hurt by our choices and express our deepest regret and apologize. We hope our apology is received.

We can’t always expect forgiveness. We have to allow others the time to work through their own griefs and regrets. Knowing we regret the action that hurt them may ease the way to eventual forgiveness.

In the mean time, we can have peace knowing we already have forgiveness from the only one who truly has the authority to judge us. I am most comforted by this verse in 1 John 3:20 (NIV)

“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”

1 John 3:20 NIV

While God continues to work healing in us and in those we may have injured in some way, we can at the very least know, God remembers and knows every reason behind our every action. Others may doubt the sincerity of our apology and our regret, but God knows the depth of our remorse.

The real key now is to forgive ourselves. Because if God can, so can you.

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