The Delicate Balance of Grace and Regret

The grace of God can remove all regret and remorse. It can wipe away our guilt and shame. God’s grace can make us a new creation; the old has gone the new has come.

This is the truth that I preach and teach every week. I continually tell broken and hurting people the good news of a God of grace. And yet, I think it is good to hold onto a little of the residue of our past failures.

While I want people to let go of their past sins through the grace of God, I still want them to remember the evil that sin brings into their life. Scripture is not only about a call to salvation, but also to transformation. Believers are to repent which means to change the direction of their life. Forgiveness is the first step on this journey with God, and I pray it motivates us to keep moving forward. Sometimes though, we need a reminder of how bad things once were in our lives.

I know of a lady who keeps a picture of a mangled car on her phone. A few years ago she was almost killed in a collision with a semi-truck. A family member took a photo of the smashed car and sent it to her. She does not keep it because she wants to relive the hurt of that day, but to remind her of how blessed she is to be alive.

Sometimes I want to take a picture of the people before they come to Jesus. I want to get full photographic evidence of their life at that moment. The hurt, the shame, the regret that flow out of their soul, often with tears, over their mistakes. I want that picture so that down the road I can show them.

1. Grace and regret remind us of how far we have come. Those feelings of regret serve to instill how far away from God we once lived. Grace tells us that we no longer live there.

2. Grace and regret remind us of the pain of sin. Regret is that feeling of pain associated with my failures. Grace reminds me that I don’t have to carry the full weight forever.

3. Grace and regret motivate us to move forward in faith. Regret helps me to remember the pain of my failure. I do not ever want to do the actions that took me to that point. Grace shows me that I don’t have to live that way anymore.

There is this delicate balance of grace and regret in the life of the believer. I want you to experience the full weight of grace in your life. I also want you to hold onto the stain of sin so that you will be motivated to live for God in a new and exciting way.

Today I encourage you to revisit your failures long enough to know how blessed you are right now.

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