Sooner or later you’re going to die. Pretty harsh, I know. But the reality is that our lives are short and we only have a limited time on this earth. I recently had to do a presentation in front of a group of people. The presentation was on child abuse and I only had 15 minutes to speak. I panicked. How could I manage to present all of the necessary information in 15 minutes and leave a lasting impression? I wanted them to remember what I said so that change could be implemented. I wanted to make an impact and have no regrets on how I used those 15 minutes. Think about your own life. If you were told that you only have a short time to live, how would you respond? Would you have any regrets of your own?
Last week’s post, “A Life of Regret” talked about two opposing paths regret can lead to. One is a path of negative emotions and pain and the other is a positive path which leads to change and growth. Today I want to take a different approach on regret. As stated earlier, death is inevitable. There is nothing we can do to escape it. We will all one day die. The question is, will we look back on our lives when we are nearing death and have regret or will we be joyful and at peace? I recently heard a message during which the preacher said, “The only thing worse than living your life with regrets is spending eternity with regrets.” Let that sink in for a second. Will you look back on your life and realize that you spent a majority of it working for a career? Were you consumed with meeting deadlines and making money? I’m not saying these things are bad, but do we allow them to consume us? In that same message the speaker said, “Could you look back and name people who would be in heaven because of your influence for Jesus Christ?”
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10
As followers of Jesus Christ, we will be evaluated and judged on how we invested our time here on earth. Whether good or evil, we will receive what is due. Are we investing our time in God’s kingdom or in our very own kingdom? Are we living for the pleasures of this world or are we living to seek pleasure from the One true King? Having regrets today on how you lived your life is not a problem. It is a sign for us that we need to change and live for our Savior.
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus is telling the parable of the talents. When the master returns to his servants, he says to the one who made profit, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.” The servant took what was given to him, and worked hard to make a profit. We too are to do the same. God has given us much, and we will be judged on what we do with it. Most of us Christians want to finish well. We want to get into heaven and hear our Master say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” What do we need to do to make this happen? As believers, this statement should be something we long to hear. Our goal and ambition should be to live a life free of regret and full of meaning, so that when we face our Savior we will hear those beautiful words come from His mouth.
The Lord our God loves us for who we are and has a great plan for us during our short time on this earth. How we respond to His calling determines if we will live a life of regret or a life of fulfillment and joy. We have the opportunity to change our relationships, finances, investments, etc. It is not too late to shift our focus from this world to the Kingdom of God. We may not be able to change what happened yesterday, but we definitely have the choice to change our tomorrow.
“…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. “ – Philippians 3: 13-14