I’ve always been one to say that I don’t have any regrets in life. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that even the mistakes that were made in the past were meant for my good in the long run. Ultimately I still believe that. However, I’m in a season in my life where I’m looking back on some major decisions I’ve made and I find myself wallowing in regret.
I regret leaving that certain someone who could have possibly been “the one.” I regret taking bad advice and turning down that internship for a certain documentary that went on to be an award-winning film on PBS. I regret ever leaving Atlanta.
It’s so easy to go down that road where you’re constantly living in the past, wondering what could’ve, should’ve, would’ve been. It’s a trap. Right now I’m in the process of planning a trip to Paris, contemplating seminary and a major move across the country. I’m very excited about it all, but I don’t know if any of this would be remotely possible if any of those regrets had happened any differently.
Then this morning I woke up and was encouraged by these scriptures:
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised…Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 17-20 ESV)
Although these scriptures are not about regret per se, they remind me that my life has a greater purpose. I no longer live for myself, I am now an ambassador for Christ. Yes, I made some mistakes in the past, but God has forgiven me and ultimately my life is about glorifying Him and making Him known. This world, our bodies, they are all passing away daily. But on the inside, God has made us new creatures and we are being restored everyday. And with that, God has given each of us a task to accomplish here and now–to carry the message of reconciliation. He has entrusted us to tell the world that through Christ we have peace with God, which releases us from the guilt and shame we experience from every single mistake we’ve ever made in life. How awesome is that?! Even though it’s hard, I have to remember to live in that present reality.
So my heart check for today is: In spite of the mistakes I’ve made in the past, how am I doing at exemplifying the ministry of reconciliation?
And how about you? Given the mistakes you’ve made in your past, what are you being an ambassador for?