Monday, June 13, 2011

Few Regrets

"All men are like grass,

and all their glory is like the flowers
of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands

~ Isaiah 40: 6b-8

"Surely the people are grass" .... uhhh yikes. I know "each man's life is but a breath", but I usually don't like to dwell on that, because it honestly makes me feel a little frantic. This is kind of ironic since my entire blog is based around this verse.

But here's the thing: I look forward to events, and then... all too soon, they're over. Time goes so fast... but I don't feel like I'm moving. I still feel like I'm 18 years old.

It scares me sometimes.

So much to do! So much to see! So many things to explore! I don't want to waste it!

The older I become, the more I realize how essential it is to have a close walk with Christ. The only way that I can keep from "wasting" time is to draw close to my Father and determine what HE wants me to do every day. How does HE want me spending my time? Are the things I'm involved in glorifying to Him and beneficial to His kingdom?

Because those are the only things that will outlast this life.

Living for ourselves can be fulfilling... while it lasts. But in the end, we are somehow empty and full of regrets. Perhaps we end up in that broken place because we finally realize that this kingdom is not a kingdom at all in comparison to the place that God has prepared for those who love him.

I don't want to regret this life. I don't want to regret the choices I made or the way I spent my time. I think everyone desires to live with no regrets... but how many people actually achieve this? It might be impossible to live with no regrets, but what if we could live with few?

John 10:10 says:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

When I think of a full life, I think of security in the arms of Christ, joy in His presence, and overpowering strength to face trials. Regrets do not come to mind. In fact, the only things I regret are the situations where I behaved in an ungodly way, times when I didn't follow the holy spirit's prompting, or missed opportunities to share God's love with other people.

All the things that I regret can be linked back to one common factor: my lack of abiding in Christ.
When I was far from his presence or out of touch with His spirit... those are the times that I did things, or said things, or thought things that I now regret. Every situation that I can think of can be traced back to that one thing.

The secret to a life of few regrets is fully and continually abiding in Christ.*
So we've already determined what we need to do in order to live a life of few regrets... but what do we do with the regrets we already have?

Philippians 3:12-14 might answer this for us:

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Forgetting what is behind doesn't mean forgetting the lessons God taught us. But what we should be forgetting is the stuff that doesn't matter anymore. In II Corinthians 5, God says that we are a new creation in Christ!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Abiding in Christ deals with having an eternal focus and perspective. When we're abiding, we are no longer looking to the mistakes that we have made in the past. We are focused on walking with Christ in the moment... every single day that we have... with every breath that we take.

This forward focus is what takes our eyes off of ourselves and places them on the cross. Is fulfillment what I desire? Then I must learn to devote myself entirely to Christ and His purposes - for it is only there that I find life to the full.

"What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts."
- Amy Carmichael

*If you're confused about what it means to abide in Christ, I suggest you read Andrew Murray's book "Abiding in Christ". It's excellent!


  1. Very True Emily.

    Today on my way to the hospital I was contemplating the many things I regret about the last few weeks. The many times I have chosen other things before God. Thank you for the timely encouragement to abide in Christ once again. I really appreciate 2 Cor 5:15. Thank you for your dedication to Christ and sharing what you are learning on this blog.


  2. Such words of wisdom Emily!. Such a good challenge for us to "Abide in Christ". The times when my life feels the most fulfilling is when I am clinging to Christ...and abiding in Him. And my most miserable times are when I have failed to glorify the Lord in my life, by my actions, or my attitude.

    You are precious in His sight...and He loves you so much Emily....

    Thanks so much for writing this post. Even older ladies like me need to be reminded to "Glorify Him With Every Breath!"

    {{Hugs}} to my adopted Granddaughter! (:>)

  3. Amen. Thanks Em, I really appreciated that.


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