How to Defeat the Challenge of Grief and Regret
Grief and regret are the twin prongs of paralysis. If you can change it, change it. If you can’t change it, move past it.
How do you defeat the challenge of grief and regret?
Grief comes from a loss you experienced. Regret comes from a mistake you had control of. In both cases, the opportunity for change is gone.
I have watched people punch “Pause” on life because of grief and regret. They are paralyzed to move forward. They blame themselves. They blame others. They even blame God.
Here are positive ways to overcome grief and regret:
1. Set a date for moving on.
- Samuel grieved over Saul’s rejection as king. Finally, God asked him, “How long will you grieve over Saul?” God’s question jarred Samuel out of his “paralysis of analysis.”
- Perhaps God is asking you today, “How long will you stay unreconciled to that former friend? How long will you grieve over a lost job? How long will you regret a wrong career choice?” The Bible simply says, “Now is the acceptable time…” (2 Cor. 6:2).
2. Refill your empty soul.
- Grief and regret sap the life out of you. You become dry, empty, lethargic. You are mentally fatigued because you have replayed the situation over a thousand times in your mind.
- “FILL YOUR CUP.” After David walked through the valley of the shadow of death he then said “My cup runs over.” Ask the Holy Spirit to come and anoint your head with fresh oil. Shake off the ashes of the past. He will give you the “oil of joy for mourning.”
3. Get a new purpose.
- God has a new purpose for you, a new direction for your life. Grief and regret focus you on your PAST; purpose focuses you on your FUTURE.
- Mourning the past is not all bad. God gave Israel 30 days to mourn for Moses. Then, He said, “Arise, and go over the Jordan” (Josh. 1:2). Where is your next promised land?
4. Overcome your excuses.
- When God shows you your new “marching orders,” move forward. We all have excuses that are linked to our past grief and regret. Don’t let them define you, limit you, or paralyze you.
- I had a problem with public speaking in college. I would hyper-ventilate, lose my breath. I was asked to sing a solo in front of 4500 students one morning and decided to defeat it once and for all. It went great and I have never had one instance of that in my entire preaching career!
We have to “move on.” Grief (though real and important) will not change anything. Regret can be defeated by a new purpose and mission.
Today is the day. Fill your cup with fresh oil. Get a new direction. Start moving toward grace and reward instead of grief and regret!