How many times have you heard the saying “no regrets” in the past few years? I’m sure it’s always been around, but it seems everyone has decided the best way to live life is a life of regretting absolutely nothing. Is there anything wrong with that? If you watch MTV at all (my occasional guilty pleasure), you are guaranteed to hear someone, on some stupid reality show, end their screen time with “Just gotta live life, no regrets!”
If you couldn’t already tell, I hate this phrase. A lot.
I hate it because when I hear people say it, they don’t actually mean “Oh, I made a mistake, I understand that, and I’m moving on” they mean “lolz whatever, I don’t want to take responsibility for my actions, #YOLO #NOREGRETS”
Honestly, I think to some extent, regret is a GOOD thing. I don’t mean you should dwell on your past. I don’t mean that at all. Dwelling on your past mistakes after you’ve been forgiven is counterproductive and unbiblical.
However, regret means you realized that you did something wrong! Isn’t that a good thing? It means you understand “hey, what i just did, that wasn’t great. Maybe I hurt someone’s feelings. Maybe I slacked off too much this semester. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone 30 km over the speed limit. Maybe I should change.”
It’s good to have regret because then you can stop doing whatever caused you to feel regret in the first place!
I’m tired of this culture of “anything goes”, of “live in the now”, of “do whatever makes you feel good, and regret nothing”.
We make mistakes. We are not perfect. That is pretty obvious. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that fact that sometimes, you screw up. Sometimes, I screw up. We all do. This “no regrets” attitude seems to promote a selfish way of living. A way of living where you no longer feel responsible for your actions, where you can keep making the same mistakes over and over again, where you can hurt other people and never learn because you never regret anything!
I don’t think a lot of people actually think that way. I think that saying “no regrets’ is just a cover-up – a cover-up so you don’t have to deal with the reality of making mistakes.
That being said, in 2 Corinthians, Paul writes about having no regrets. He says:
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
From a Christian perspective – having “no regrets” doesn’t mean having no regrets. It means realizing you were wrong, coming to God for forgiveness, and moving on. Because there really is no point in regretting things you have been forgiven for.
Once you bring that all over to God you can have a “no regrets” attitude too…an attitude that may be a little different from the MTV standard. An attitude that is, in my opinion, much more productive and much more fulfilling.