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Pastor's Corner - Jan. 10, 2019

Regrets, we’ve all had a few

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow,

but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest.

To regret deeply is to live afresh.”

--Henry David Thoreau

Ever seen the candy bar commercial on TV where the “biker dude” is getting a new tattoo, which is supposed to read NO REGRETS? Instead because the tattoo artist is a little famished and in need of a sugar fix, she tattoos his arm with the words NO REGERTS. How about that for a permanent NO REGRET?

Regrets -- have any? Of course you do — everyone has them, even those who claim to not have any have them -- to really have no regrets in life would indicate a life lived to total selfishness in a world surrounded by hedonistic desires and void of any conscience at all, wouldn’t it? It is what the Scripture would call a self-deceived man/woman. Oh, to be fair, to those who claim to have no regrets, I think they have simply learned to redefine their regrets as hurts, mistakes and hiccups along the way — or perhaps they are like the American celebrity Nicole Polizzi, they couch them as something else, she who says, “I don't have regrets, there are only lessons. You learn from them, and you become a better person.”

You see it is not whether we have experienced regrets in our life — the better question is how we make sure they do not paralyze us to the point that they rob our future successes that await. How then can we make sure we turn regrets into positives and not negative energy? Here are a few ideas using the regret as our guide:

R = refuse to allow any regret to continually “rehash” itself in our psyche — we do that by remembering this thought “whatever we focus on becomes our controlling factor” whatever we focus on looms largest -- so focus on who you really are, to whom you belong and where you intend to go. Philippians 3: "…Forget that which is past…”

E = develop Eagle’s mentality -- that is, use the winds of adversity as the eagle uses the winds of the atmosphere to push him higher and higher until the problems of this world look strangely dim. Isaiah 40:3: “..mount up with wings like eagles;”

G = grow from the process — properly deduce to regret, to view each challenge as a life lesson one from which if viewed properly there will come from its seed growth, maturity and victory. Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

R = reap the rewards of the aforementioned lessons learned -- bearing in mind the Eternal Universal Law placed in our universe by a loving Creator that of “seed time and harvest” — what you sow that also shall you reap — sow good seeds and reap a bountiful harvest of blessings and rewards Galatians 9:6: “…whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

E = Encourage] others in their plight as you gain strength through your adversity (regret). As is spoken in wedding ceremonies, sorrows are halved and joys are doubled when shared with another. I Thessalonians 4:18: “…encourage one another with these words.”[

T = Think on the goodness received from the challenge. As Paul exhorts in Philippians 4:8:“whatsoever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, are of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy meditate on these things.” Always remember you are and become what you think about. Romans 2:4 “…not knowing that God’s goodness is meant to lead you to repentance…”

Jim Neal is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Shafter.


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