When You Mess Up Really Bad

depressed woman
Here's how to find your way out of the pain of regret. (iStockPhoto)

"For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and revealed" (Luke 8:17).

Regret is an emotion with an incredible capacity for causing untold pain. Too often we find ourselves where we did not wish to go, having arrived by a mode of transportation we did not enjoy. This is when we begin to feel regret.

When we say or do foolish or sinful things in secret, it is not God who embarrasses us; we embarrass ourselves. To think otherwise is like sowing seeds in secret and then becoming angry with God when a plant appears. Yet far too often, regret goes deeper and endures longer than mere consequences of cause and effect. It continues to echo in our lives until it is finally addressed head-on.

If you have been weighed down by regret, it is time to face the storm and turn aside to the truth. It is time to turn from your sin in repentance. Your God is merciful, full of grace and compassion.

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"Godly sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but the sorrow of the world produces death" (2 Cor. 7:10).

Godly sorrow moves beyond concern about consequences and focuses on our relationship with God. If you have sinned against Him, let godly sorrow pierce any hardness of heart. Allow the power of repentance to lead you to salvation.

Let us cry out like David:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Ps. 51:10).

When we openly own up to our sins, we are openly cleansed. When we need God's mercy, we can humble ourselves so He may exalt us out of our circumstances.

What in your life needs to be cleansed by God's great mercy and compassion? Perhaps you're still unsure if you can entrust these regrets to the righteous King. God longs for you to give them to Him so He can restore joy where there has been brokenness. Our heavenly Father will transform every dark place of regret into a shining beacon of His faithfulness and truth.

Adapted from Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry: Why Women Lose When They Give In (Thomas Nelson, 2002) by Lisa Bevere.

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