Is It Right To Regret?

C. Smith - October 5, 2022

This is a question that I have been thinking about for a little while.
It may seem like the answer is quite obvious, but to me it seem a bit complicated.
First of all, what is regret?
Regret is can be defined as:

Pain of mind at something done or left undone; remorse; a looking back with
dissatisfaction or with longing.


Bitterness at ones own self.

Since I have written about bitterness recently, and by that I mean within three months, I will not repeat what I said, for the sake of the reader.
When I think about whether something is right, I think that it is beneficial to first ask if it is wrong.

So, is it wrong to regret?
Well, let us go through the definition one by one to find out.

First, is it wrong to feel pain because of something that was done, or not done?

"Then Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged Him." -John 19:1

Jesus surely felt pain when He was scourged, and if Jesus has never sinned, then it is clearly not a sin to feel pain.

Second, is it wrong to look back with dissatisfaction or longing?
Yes, it can be, for two reasons.
One reason is that it is sometimes wrong to look back in the first place.

"But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." -Genesis 19:26

In this story, God told lot and his family not to look back.
We cannot look back all of the time, because, looking back also keeps us from looking forward. We are to be looking forward toward the return of Jesus, not looking back.

The second reason is that, we are told to be content, not to look back with dissatisfaction.

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
-Phillipians 4:11-13

It is understandable to look back at what we have done, and to wonder what might have happened if we acted differently in that situation, but it is only healthy if we learn from the past, from our mistakes and failures.
Another thing to remember is why you did it, did you do it because that was the right thing to do? Was that what God wanted you to do? If not, then repent and ask for forgiveness, from God, and from whomever else that may have been involved.
You should never regret doing what was right.
And this is one reason to make sure you are doing what is right at this very moment, and in the future. If you do what is right, you will never need to regret it.

You may not have any regrets yet, try to keep it that way.
And if you do have regrets, don’t add another one.

Is It Right To Regret?
Clayton Smith October 6, 2023
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