“Godly sorrow brings repentance…and leaves no regret.” 2Co 7:10 NIV
There’s the kind of regret that leads to despair because you don’t think God’s grace is sufficient to cover your sins. Then there’s “sadness…used by God [which] brings a change of heart…and…no regret” (GNT). This kind draws you closer and makes you more dependent on Him. You become “more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent…more passionate, more responsible…[and] come out…with purity of heart” (2Co 7:11 TM). Jon Walker writes: “As the economy closed in I began to regret not buying a less expensive home. If only we’d bought a cheaper house. If only we’d rented. If only we’d stayed in our first house. I can ‘If only’ myself into depression and stagnation where I’m stuck between regret and forward motion. When my focus is not on the One who provides…I let regret become bigger than God…and following that logic, I believe past choices, an event, a tragedy, a compromise, a mistake—is more powerful than the God who spoke the world into existence…We live in ‘if only/what if’ moments more than we realize. They wrap us in a sense of hopeless paralysis; we fear the bad choices we made [and] the choices we face. God pours His grace into the present…our walk is one where we make a decision and stick with it, trusting that even if we make mistakes, God’s big enough to turn them around. When regret becomes ungodly sorrow versus godly sorrow, you find yourself submerged in self-pity instead of looking to Him to work things out for the good of ‘those…he has called according to his purpose’” (See Ro 8:28).