Thursday, May 30, 2013

No Regrets, Judas and Frank

Even if you’re not as old as I am, you may remember Frank Sinatra's “I did it My Way,” with the familiar line: “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.” Of course everyone knows no one can live without regrets. The Bible abounds with regretful people. ‘Regret’ is an unhealthy feeling of sorrow about something that one wishes could be different; and that  kind of sorrow can control one's life.

In Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians, he speaks of two sorrows: there is self-oriented sorrow (the result of unresolved regret); and there is a God-initiated sorrow (leading to repentance and freedom). “The kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads to salvation. And there's no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death”

Two disciples with the most to regret were Peter and Judas. Peter’s sorrow led to repentance. But Judas’ sorrow led to death. Certainly Jesus would have forgiven Judas had he repented! Or for that matter, Frank Sinatra, who could have sung, “Regrets, more than a few; but then again, no need to mention.” 


  1. Good morning Greg,
    Great post!
    One of the things that the world does not understand is that it is the ~kindness~ (in this case the benevolent expression of usefulness that can make a positive difference for the recipient) of God that leads one to repentance. It is so easy for me to think, "I have to repent," when the correct attitude should be, "I get to repent." At the heart of sin is a mis-belief in the comprehensive love of God for me. My "oops, I did it again" is not that I said "yes" to the sin first, but that I said "no" to God's love for me first. In that moment of sin for me, one of the things I do not realize is that the most debilitating thing about sin is that without purity, one cannot see God.
    Larry Q

  2. Wow! Larry, what great insights. thanks for adding. Greg

  3. Greg,

    Our Americanized Christianity version of repentance is in one word: "yesiwaswrongiamsorrythankyou." We miss the point so easily that our sin has the capacity to effect God because it is in fact a retraction of our pledge of love and faithfulness to Him. And we don't even consider that we can hurt God just like we can be hurt when someone acts contrary to their pledge (spoken or understood) of love/ respect to us.

    If we allow ourselves the understanding of our God allowing Himself to be wounded by us--His covenant people--then perhaps we would not be so prone to lightly dismiss the sins that we so flippantly excuse as "blunders," "errors in judgment," "fauxs," "slip-ups," and a host of other spins that our American English language has equipped us with for such usage.

    I, for one, need to remind myself of this frequently, and reconcile my understanding to the truth that God has so identified Himself with His people that He makes Himself vulnerable to our abuse. I need to be hurt to think of Him being hurt by my insensitivity. And then I need to repent in the most comprehensive way that Scripture teaches that I am expected to do.


  4. A good word, Stan. Regarding you explanation that our disobedience is a "retraction of love" it occurs to me the solution is loving Him more. We are more sensitive to the feelings of those we love: the more we love, the more sensitive. I read in Arthur Pink recently, we ought to be "occupied with His love."