REGRET IS THE BYPRODUCT OF US NOT WILLING TO FORGIVE AND FORGET!
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
One of the hardest things that causes us regret is the act of not showing forgiveness. As we step through to a new year, one of the things that holds us is the bonds that have been broken. Now understand that I am not saying that you have to go and be besties again with the people that have truly hurt you, but what I am saying is that you have to be willing to let it go in order that God can begin the healing process from the inside out. I know tons of people who say that they forgive someone for something that really cut into their soul, but have never really forgotten the situation that caused the pain. It is like a spiritual scar that continues to remind them of their pain and they never will fully heal unless they are willing to let go and give it to God. There are plenty of people I know that growing up that I wronged in my life. I know that there are things that I might have said or might have done not really thinking of the ramifications of my actions. I know that I too live with those scars on my heart and I continue to live in a form of regret that will not release me to fully be healed by God. It is as if those failures are really the things that make up who I am and if I let go of them I am afraid that maybe I will have to change. But the real reality is that we are never going to fully become the person that God has intended for us to be because the regret is causing us to never forget the hurt and we create a barrier that won't allow God to fully give us resolution.
This is not a new concept. One of my professors at United Theological wrote and taught on an understanding of the Korean word HAN. Han is the inability of us to let go of the pain and hurt that we have experienced and we allow it to control every aspect of our lives moving forward. We are marked with hurt and regret and with our inability to let go of these things, we allow them to control our lives and will inevitably be passed down to future generations or even other people that we come into contact with in our lives. Why... Because Hurt People, Hurt People because of our human inability to not full forgive and forget. We are all
truly impacted by those decisions and it is really a person that has found forgiveness and freedom that is able to help lead others to find this freedom. I love the image that was used for today's blog where you see the split between the words forgive and forget and that really does speak volumes of the power of our actions. In order for us to receive forgiveness we have to be willing to let go or forget the hurt that has shackled us and that is a two way street. In order for us to receive forgiveness we have to be willing to give forgiveness, or in other words we have to "Give to Get". We cannot only be on the receiving side, but we have to be wiling to give as well. That was the example of Christ. Jesus came to show us how to give and how to forgive. Jesus demonstrated a life that only had ONE regret and that was that He wanted more time, but yet Jesus yielded to the will of the Father when He said, "Father take this cup from me but not MY will but YOUR will be done."
As we look at the Scripture teaching for today, we are able to see that this was a continued process that we still have not gotten right. Isaiah is trying to educate the people of God that there is a new way coming and that we have to be able to change our concept of approaching God. Isaiah was telling them that they could not continue to cry out to God when they found themselves enslaved because of their actions, but that they needed to change their mindset that God was not a genie that was to answer wishes. Their mindset and their lifestyles had to change in order for true freedom to be experienced. God's people continued to live in regret and fear and continued to ask for God to break them free from these captivating principles. But all they wanted was to feel better about their situation, they never fully forgot how they allowed sinful desires to continue to enslave them to the powers of the world. Here we see Isaiah talking about a new exodus for the people of God that was once again repressed by their actions. They were no longer enslaved by the powers of the world but by their own sinful nature and a new exodus would take place because they were going to be walking through a new desert that was provided by their own sinful actions. Yes, God would still hear their cries, but He waited for Jesus to enter into the world to show them the true power of forgiveness through the power of God, Himself cancelling out their sin debt. Through the blood of Jesus, God was able to forget the penalty of death through the payment of Christ.
So today I am really wanting to encourage us all to look at the scars that has made us who we are. Some of these scars truly molded us into the way that we trust or the way that we hide. These scars are constant reminders of how far we have truly come and provided for us encouragement to spur us on towards the goals that we have achieved. BUT these scars still continue to hinder us in our development towards freedom. We continue to constrain ourselves because once again regret turns into despair and we find ourselves reliving the same scenarios that caused the scars in the first place. We have to be willing to let the
shackles of these evil situations to be FULLY BROKEN by God. I am not saying that we are giving forgiveness to the ones that hurt us, that will be between them and God, but what I am saying is that we need to stop enslaving ourselves because we have not heard or spoken the words I am sorry to those that hurt us or we hurt along our life's journey. We, as the Israelites, continue to cry out to God for a solution and find ourselves asking for freedom over and over and over again. God has heard our cries and is ready to deliver us once again from this new wilderness that we continue to be stuck in. We just have to be willing to GIVE to GET. We have to be willing to GIVE it ALL to God and stop thinking that we will one day overcome this obstacle and realize that the only way that we can overcome is to GIVE it to GOD so that we can GET the healing that we truly need to move on towards maturity in our spiritual journey. Regret is the byproduct of us continuing to carry this HAN into EVERY situation in our lives and there is NO WAY we will every move past that shackle unless we fully give it to God and release these things that continue to hold us. There is NO better time than TODAY to finally Let Go and Let GOD finally give us release from the regret that we may have been carrying for over most of our lives.