Faithlife Sermons

Regret

Sacred Pause  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Our regrets show what has been important to us in the past. The way of Christ frees us from both past regret and future self-focused choices so we can live lives with no regrets.

Notes
Transcript

Introduction

Shelter in Place

Either have a lot less to do or a lot more to do
Our house, haven’t had to ask each other, “How was your day?”
Social media: What people are doing with all this extra time. Either posting about the fun they’re having or commenting on the fun others are having.
Most of us seem to be spending a LOT more time on Facebook…posting GIF’s that describe your pastor.
Means many of us seem to be spending a LOT more time on Facebook. When boredom sets in, things like this happen...

Not all Fun and Games

Experiences like we’re having now - face our mortality
FB, binge watching Netflix gets old. Do what some of us avoided with FB and Netflix - think and reflect.
Experiences like we’re having now brings tension - face our mortality
Face our regrets
Some of us do this kind of reflection often
When facing it,
Others avoid it as much as possible
During times of sacred pause, God will bring up those regrets pushed away.

Tw

I’m curious, how many of us in the past few weeks have had our lives on rewind, play, and fast forward...
Thinking about the relationships, experiences, choices and their impact we’ve collected
Smile as you watch some of those moments
Want to fast forward it through others - regret.
Didn’t accomplish life goals; missed opportunities, experiences
Lost love
Choices that hurt you or others; didn’t have the results you wanted?
Then you may start to talk to yourself - it’s because of this or that - like Adam, push responsibility and blame onto someone or something else.
Maybe you’re starting to decide what you’re going to do to make your life different from now on.
Regret is the second-most common emotion people mention in daily life, some studies show.
Regret is the second-most common emotion people mention in daily life, some studies show.
Two types
I wish I would have...Looking back over short periods of time tend to regret what we’ve done, mistakes made - I wish I would have...
I wish I didn’t Looking back longer, what we’ve not done, missed opportunities for love, working too much away from family.
In some circles (political), expressing regret is a perception of humility...
I regret that happened…NOT I regret what I did
Not easy to
I’m curious, how many of us in the past few weeks have had our lives on rewind and play...
Thinking about the relationships, experiences, choices and their impact we’ve collected
Smile as you watch some of those moments
Want to fast forward it through others - regret.
Have regular moments where
With every choice, we’re saying yes to one thing and no to others. There is a cost; a price. Regret is saying the price was too high; the loss was too great.
Want to fast forward it through others - regret.
Didn’t accomplish life goals; missed opportunities, experiences
Lost love
Choices that hurt you or others; didn’t have the results you wanted?
Even God Regretted making Saul King
Regretted making us. Word for regret means to hurt, to pain. the hurt and pain that emerged.
I wonder if God still feels this way today.
Then you may start to talk to yourself - it’s because of this or that - like Adam, push responsibility and blame onto someone or something else.
Maybe you’re starting to decide what you’re going to do to make your life different from now on.
Maybe you’re skeptical listening because the church has been the place where regret was used to get you/manipulate you to do something.
Many look at Christianity as a religion that wants us to feel regret. I get that.
If not, hang on…we’re going to get there too
Many look at Christianity as a religion that wants us to feel regret. I get that.
Problem you may have experienced is that all regret does is leave us in guilt with no where to go. Last week, we heard that described as self-condemnation.
Many look at Christianity as a religion that wants us to feel regret. I get that.
Regret can be good - learn and move forward
But most of time it holds you back; keeps us stuck.
Failure - don’t want to fail again, so don’t take the risk (living out of the past).
Regret holds us back (holding onto past rather than move forward; get stuck).
Dr. Summerville runs the Regret Lab at the University of Miami in Ohio. By her lights, regret is only toxic when it becomes habitual. That is, when we develop the reflex to chew and chew on an unfortunate turn of events, like a cow on its cud, till there’s not a lick of nutrition left in it.
Cognitive distortion - distorting the event that left us regretful. Amplifying the negative aspect of the situation regardless of the reality of the situation. Don’t see it in its proper context; amplifies it above reality.

I Have a Different View

No regrets - make choices now so I won’t regret them later. I appreciate that. What happens when your perspective changes LATER and if you had it to do over again, you’d do it differently?
Maybe you’re skeptical listening because the church has been the place where regret was used to get you/manipulate you to do something.
Many look at Christianity as a religion that wants us to feel regret. I get that.
Problem you may have experienced is that all regret does is leave us in guilt with no where to go. Last week, we heard that described as self-condemnation.
Question we need to wrestle with: What if our regrets are less a sign of failure or what someone is trying to make me feel about a choice or action, but a sign that reveals what is really important to us?
To help us, let’s look at
Ecclesiastes 5:8–20 ESV
If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. But this is gain for a land in every way: a king committed to cultivated fields. He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep. There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger. Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
Multiple world views

What Could Regret Be Revealing?

What’s Important is Having More than is Necessary

Many of our No Regret choices come from a desire for more.
Here, money and wealth (abundance) = possessions gained; the hope of having more in the future.
The words money (keseþ, ‘silver’) and wealth (hamôn, ‘abundance, plenty’) are respectively silver used as a medium of exchange, and wealth in the form of goods and possessions (cf. , rsv). They speak of the capital one has, while gain (tĕbû’â, ‘income, increase, harvest’) is the hope of further income, a ‘harvest’ in store (for the word has agricultural associations).
Abundance of wealth = riches. More of everything in life.
Refers to family, friends, moral qualities and material possessions.
Bible: what we do with the more than we need is a spiritual issue.
What will we do with the more than is typical where we live?
Biblical writers considered wealth and how it was used as an indicator of one's spirituality. What will you do with the more than you need; the more than is typical where you live.
Decisions based on self-preservation, self-promotion always have an impact on others

More than necessary attracts dependency

-An extended family will extend more (you become attractive).

More than necessary disrupts contentment

Cares (keeps you awake)
Person who works to live (rather than live to work and build wealth) - sleeps well.

Regret: It wasn’ worth it

The Steep Price: More is Lost

Had it and lost it. Nothing to pass on.

The Steep Price: Moral Compromise

Do what’s necessary…ends justify means

The Steep Price: Relationships

People we care about are drawn into our vortex
Who that you care about was drawn into the vortex of keeping the "more" coming (here, a son).

The Steep Price: Health

physical stress when things fall apart

Remedy

Under the Sun world view

Writer is talking to a very broad audience with a couple of things in common:
Self confident, chasing more and all it represents
Full of cynicism, bitterness, regret

A new, wise view: The Way of Christ

God’s Gift

Jesus brings tension and that tension can often lead to the emotional response of regret.
Avoiding Jesus = avoiding regret.

God is present

Before Jesus fixed brokenness, he first entered into it.
Jesus is present with us in the chaos.
Talking about regrets often not easy. How can I get to the point where I am willing to talk with God about my regrets?
Not living for Jesus but living in Jesus.
What will I hear when I sit in the silence?
Invitation to Repent
The club of repentance - power, strength saying it but it’s something to graciously invite people into...
How we’ve heard it: repent and follow Jesus.
Turn away from the way you think, what you do, who your friends are - give up everything from your past life (regret) and follow Jesus.
How it is: following Jesus is repentance.
Turning to face God who is gracious, kind and gentle and having a conversation - just like when we turn to have a face to face conversation with someone - trusting him enough to talk about our regrets with God is repentance.
Learning his way (forgiveness) through past regrets in those conversations is repentance.
Learning and trusting his way to handle present and future regrets is repentance.
The club of repentance - power, strength saying it but it’s something to graciously invite people into...
Living a life of no regrets doesn’t mean an absence of them. It means when they come, we’re free from getting stuck in them.
Present through others - Walking with someone in their regret/in repentance
Repentance is not something we should lead with but present as a way through regret once we’ve listened to someone’s story (examples).
Willard: The Gospel is less about how to get into the Kingdom of Heaven after you die and more about how to live in the Kingdom of Heaven before you die.

God is good

I’ve never been perfect. I’ve even been ashamed of who I was. But then I realized through grace I can still love my past self even if I don’t like my past choices.
Dallas Willard: Salvation as conceived today is far removed from what it was in the beginnings of Christianity and only be correcting it can God’s grace in salvation be returned to the concrete, embodied existence of our human personalities walking with Jesus in his easy yoke.
Tony Miles: I’ve never been perfect. I’ve even been ashamed of who I was. But then I realized through grace I can still love my past self even if I don’t like my past choices.

God is generous

Isaiah 43:18–19 ESV
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Cor 5:
Helps us move on.
A lot I’d love to forget.
Living a life of no regrets doesn’t mean an absence of them. It means when they come, we’re free from getting stuck in them.
God is now doing a new thing and it is His Spirit that effectually changed me from the old a new creation or creature in Christ Jesus ().
Isaiah 43:18–19 ESV
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Tim Keller: In every other way of looking at the world,

Enjoy and Celebrate

Difference between living in God’s story and asking him to make our story better.
Willard: The Gospel is less about how to get into the Kingdom of Heaven after you die and more about how to live in the Kingdom of Heaven before you die.

Do what God has given you to do and enjoy yourself.
Repentance and taking joy is the pathway out of a life stuck in regret

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The "preacher" wants to deliver us from a rosy-colored, self-confident godless life, with its inevitable cynicism and bitterness, and from trusting in (in this case wealth and everything it represents) to drive us to see that God is present, good and generous and that is the only way of looking at life that makes sense and is fulfilling.
Especially when times are tough, feel like we might not have enough; begin to hoard
The way of Christ (alternative world view) frees us from self focused choices that inevitably lead to regret.
God is instructing Isaiah to tell the nation of Israel to forget the former things and many things in my life I’d love to forget like my former drug abuse, alcohol binges, and thievery. Since that time, I have paid for these crimes and repented of my former ways and confessed these things to God and He has forgiven me and cleansed me from all of them (). God is now doing a new thing and it is His Spirit that effectually changed me from the old carnal self into a new creation or creature in Christ Jesus ().
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What is God inviting you to?
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