After I posted the post on inadequacy yesterday, I received this response from a Christian friend and brother and co-worker:
If you want to quote Paul then let’s look at the entirety of his life. He was a zealot who persecuted the early Church – going as far as being part of the martyrdom of Stephen. Do you think in his later years he regretted his earlier actions? I am sure he did, but he moved forward keeping his eyes on the Lord and living by His Promises.
Philippians 3:13-15: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.”
Romans 8:1 is the quintessential verse that covers leftover feelings of shame and regret in the believer: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” So, once we have confessed our sins, both past and present, we needn’t continue to live in shame and regret over them. God has forgiven us and forgotten those sins, but often we have to remind ourselves of that fact in order to forgive ourselves and move forward in newness of life. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me”.
My brother John, I can only begin to know how difficult this time is for you, but I think you made all those decisions with the best of intentions and also being the husband that God says you should be (supportive of your wife and helping her as you would yourself) – you did nothing that I would not have done in the same situation and in fact I respect you for supporting Beth’s decision to re-enlist and fulfill what she felt was most important to her life. Who knows how many lives of our soldiers and the local kids that she either saved or changed for the better. Perhaps her devotion to those people had an eternal difference too – we shall never know that on this side of Glory.
I don’t think anything is served by looking back with regret.