I have been listening to the new Shane and Shane “Worship Initiative” album lately. (It is GREAT, I would completely recommend you getting a copy) One of the songs that has really got my attention is “So I Can Love”, particularly one line. Check out the words below:
So I Can Love
“If I’m still alive, There’s gotta be a reason why, If my heart’s still beating, It’s only so I can:
Love the Lord my God, With all my heart
Love, love anyone
With open arms
I want to live with no regrets
When all is said and done
If I’m still breathing there’s a reason
It’s only so I can love”
The one line that jumps out to me as I continue to listen to this song is “I want to live with no regrets.”
What would a “no regret” life really look like? Is that really even possible? I mean honestly we have no example to draw from in that outside of Jesus there has never really been a person on this earth that has lived a regret free life in the literal sense. We have all struggled and do struggle with sin. We know all too well that we are selfish, we fail, we struggle, we get in our own way, and essentially try to either act like God doesn’t exist of attempt to take His job.
But as I listen to songs like this and deal with these desires to truly live without regret in my life, what am I to do? I think the answer is to understand that I do not have the power in and of myself to conquer sin and failure, that is all on Jesus. We are going to stumble, struggle, sin, war with our own selfishness, so that answer of living the “no regret” life is not found in living without failure, but more in how we deal with that failure.
What will we do with our failures? We can choose to heap condemnation upon ourselves for every misstep in our life and swallow ourselves up in guilt or we can place our attention upon Christ and preach the gospel to ourselves. (Romans 8:1) Yes, we are called to put sin to death. The goal of sin mortification is a life of genuine holiness that results from gradual weakening of sin’s influence in our hearts and lives. Notice this is totally different from the total removal of sin from our hearts. Do not be mistaken: killing sin our lives does not produce perfection in this life.
Of course we desire sinless perfection (no regrets) and we should. And the Lord has purchased this for us! Someday we will be like him, conformed to his image in every way. but while perfection is the ultimate desire, we will not attain it this side of glory. This life on earth is marked by warfare! (Hedges) Paul told the Roman church, this life is a battle between flesh and spirit. God’s way or our own selfish way. 1 Peter 2:11 tells us that we are to “abstain from the passions of the flesh, which rage war against your soul”.
So for me, I understand that to live a life of no regrets doesn’t mean perfection, it more about making sure I get in and stay in the battle. Am I making war through his power, fighting or do I give in and give up?
We can either place our attention on our failure, our sins, our mistakes and let that dominate our lives and our attention or we can “fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith”. (Hebrews 12:2) We can either keep our eyes focused on the past or “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us” (Philippians 3:12).
You, my friends, cannot change your last 5 seconds, 5 minutes, 5 years, ….. you get the point, but you can serve the Lord in obedience now. Living a regret free life is one that is not focused and obsessed with our pasts and letting that define our lives. Our identity is found in Jesus. Get to know Him more everyday. Live in the Word. Nourish yourself with it.
I read a pastor who put it like this, “In the spiritual life, direction makes all the difference. It’s not where we have been but where we’re going that matters.”