Regret occurs when we do or say something and later on wish we had not done or said it. It can also occur when we failed to say or do something that we wish we did. Growing up people make a lot of mistakes; it is a process of learning; we try to find out who we really are and we may run into trouble occasionally. Most times, we tend to learn from others or through our own experiences. At times people influence us the wrong way and we find ourselves going in the wrong direction. We want to move with the popular crowd. We may end up doing or saying things we do not want to or would not have under different circumstances.
The ‘crowd’ is a great influencer. We find ourselves moving with the trend. The ‘trend’ can be anything; from our way of dressing, how we walk, the way we talk, the way we interact with others, and such like things. We move with the flow. But do we ever consider if the flow is good for us? Is it the right thing to do? Does it go against our values? Are we just trying to fit in? Are we trying to please other people? What is our motive?
Behind every word and action there is a motive; whether we realize it or not. Do we say or do things out of the goodness of our hearts, as a sign of love, to please God? Or do we do it in order to be praised by others? Whose approval are we seeking?
The devil tries to use our actions or words against us. The enemy will pressure us to do or say something then use that as a means of attacking us; he will put us in situations with the aim of trapping us. The devil will try to provoke us so that we respond in ways that do not please God. Regret comes from the enemy.
With time we realize that we can either be in the flesh or in the Spirit. The two oppose each other. The flesh wants instant gratification, the flesh will say or do anything; the flesh wants what it wants.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and lustful pleasures; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, quarreling, jealousy, and outbursts of anger; selfish ambition, divisions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, wild parties, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21.
We realize that the works of the flesh separate us from God. The flesh leads us to lead lives that do not please God. The enemy wants us to be in a position whereby we are controlled by the flesh.
Works of the flesh lead to regret. We move away from what God intended in our lives. The flesh may seem good at first but nothing good ever comes out of it. Carnality leads us towards worldly sorrow; that makes our lives seem meaningless, and eventually, we get to a point of hopelessness. When we make the flesh our idol, we will always want more and more.
We realize worldly pleasures lead to addictions; that means the more we consume such pleasures, the more we still crave them. We become insatiable. We become slaves to our flesh and the pleasures of the world. Yet, such will never fill the God-sized hole in our hearts that is only meant for God.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:10.
In life, we find out that there are people who will never forgive us if we make a mistake, no matter how much we ask for forgiveness from them. The worst thing we can do in return is fail to accept God’s forgiveness in our lives; nothing is unforgivable before God. We are already forgiven through Christ, and when we ask for forgiveness, our sins are remembered no more. Self-condemnation for the mistakes we may have made comes from the enemy. Such leads to low esteem, feeling of worthlessness, depression, and hopelessness; it leads to death.
But thanks be to God, when we learn the truth, we will know Jesus Christ died for us on the cross. God wants us to repent, turn away from our sins, and then He renews us and makes us as white as snow. Godly sorrow always leads to repentance, which leads to salvation and the gift of eternal life.
We are no longer slaves to sin or the flesh. When we are led by the Spirit, we no longer desire the works of the flesh. We come to an understanding that the works of the flesh lead to destruction. We put the flesh into subjection to the Word of God.
The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s Law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8.
When we choose to serve God, He gives us the power to overcome strongholds that had kept us captive. The power of the Holy Spirit consumes all chains in our lives; we are set free. When we are in Christ, we are set free from condemnation; we are set free from the law of sin and death.
The more time we spend with God, the more we grow in the Spirit. We learn the character of God. We know we have a Father in heaven who is good-willed towards us. As we mature, we start bearing fruit; we start manifesting the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.
We realize that the fruit of the flesh and that of the Spirit are in contrast. There is no in-between. We are either in the flesh or in the Spirit; and we will eventually bear fruit. Only the works of the flesh lead to regret. Let us be on the watch. Let us be sober. God will help us discern when we ask Him to.
We are told we shall know them by their fruit. People only put on a mask for a short period of time. When we are guided by the Holy Spirit, we soon discern who those attacking us really are.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:15-20.
Our worth comes from God. God does not condemn us when we are in Christ Jesus; He leads us in the right path that leads to eternal life. God makes all things new for His honor and glory.
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