Healthy Regret

Healthy Regret

“But now this is what Adonai says, He who created you, Ya‘akov, He who formed you, Isra’el: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I am calling you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through water, I will be with you; when you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched — the flame will not burn you.”

(Isaiah 43:1,2)

Have you ever felt regret over what you have done in the past, even before you became a believer? Yes, I know the answer, even if you are reluctant to address the question. We all have regrets; they are natural for us to experience; they have an importance in our lives. Yes, I know, Adonai Yeshua, Lord Jesus, has promised us we would not be forced to carry our guilt, our regrets with us, once we are in Him, as we read in 2 Corinthians 7:10, 1 John 1:9 and Isaiah 43, just for starters.

How many times, when we hear the word ‘regret’ do we also hear the word ‘responsibility’? Every regret carries with it a responsibility – a responsibility to learn from our actions, which lead to the regret, and a responsibility to undo the harm we caused to others. How many of us have completed the second responsibility? I know I haven’t and, as such, I still feel regret for those actions. Does the burden ever ease?

Each regret I feel, draws me into prayer and my heart weeps to Adonai, begging Him to remove the pain. Sometimes He does and I feel the relief of a vacated regret but, sometimes He doesn’t; He has a message for me and something to teach me. Am I willing to learn?

Adonai did not promise us an easy life; that is the promise of false teachers and unabashed hucksters. He did promise us a life of growth, though. He promised us we would be learning throughout our lives, as we read throughout the Proverbs and in the B’rit Chadashah, the New Testament. And that is the point!

As we continue to grow towards righteousness, we will be continuously learning. Learning is change and change may be painful. Thus, some of our learnings will be painful but their values will never be diminished. Why are some people, children and adults, afraid of learning and change?

There are basically 5 reasons why people are afraid of change:

Fear of failure: fear of failure and pride are tightly connected; when change occurs and someone feels they may fail, they are actually guarding their egos, wherein pride dwells. This is an irrational fear but it is most common.

  • Fear of pain & discomfort: these fears are rationale and sometimes the most difficult to erase; however, when we succumb to these fears and avoid them by refusing to adapt the change, we are often accepting unseen pain and discomfort. For example, refusing to accept a vaccination due to an unproven fear of debilitating disease, may result in refusal to engage in activities where only the vaccinated are allowed to participate and, of course, may lead to serious infection and, often, death.
  • Fear of Success: this fear is sometimes difficult to understand. Why would anyone be afraid to succeed? Success almost always comes with baggage – the pressure of having to live up to previous successes; the pressure from others who may look up to you as a role model; the pressure from others who are looking for you to fail the next time. This is a real fear and, for some, may be debilitating.
  • Fear of Criticism: For many of us, criticism is a real fear. We do not like to be assessed, no matter where we are, and rather than put ourselves in that position, we will avoid the change and learning. This fear is closely related to how others perceive us and, again, is related to pride.
  • Fear of the New: the unknown always poses threats for us. We have no idea what lies on the other side of change and, as a result, we will tend to avoid the change. Is this fear real? Most certainly it is, if we have a lack of self-confidence or if the fear of failure is present. Many of us have a fear of the unknown.

How do I Deal with these Fears?

If you are a believer in the One, True Adonai, you have an Aide to assist you in changing these fears. Calling upon Ruach HaKadosh, the Blessed Holy Spirit of the Living God, will allow you to give up your fears to Him and walk forward into the change with confidence that He will protect you from any danger. This does not mean there will be trials associated with your journey through the change; trials almost always are present with change, designed to draw you closer to Him. However, we should be aware that Adonai uses trials often during our walk toward sanctification and eternal life. The more trials we successfully encounter, the more He will offer us greater difficulty. This is what being a believer is all about. As we enter each trial, be assured Adonai will not allow more to come to us than we can handle. Read Luke 11:11-13, wherein we find: Is there any father here who, if his son asked him for a fish, would instead of a fish give him a snake? or if he asked for an egg would give him a scorpion? So, if you, even though you are bad, know how to give your children gifts that are good, how much more will the Father keep giving the Ruach HaKadosh from heaven to those who keep asking him!

Beloved, Adonai only wants us to keep growing in our love for Him and in our faithfulness to His commands, found from the Books of Genesis to Revelation. The more we focus on these, the more trials we will receive, ensuring we will be sufficiently refined to enter His eternal life.

CONSIDER: Have you recently received a change in your life that is testing your abilities to cope? Have you gone to the Ruach HaKadosh with your fears, openly, and asked for His support? If not, I urge you to approach Him and seek His support, so you may journey through this change well.

ACTION: If you have received such a change and have not gone towards the Holy Spirit for help, I urge you to do so. The benefits of accepting His help will be unfathomable. I pray you approach Him, without delay.

PRAYER: Avinu Malkeinu, our Heavenly Father, our King, I come to you for support, as I enter the change before me. Help me meet this trial with steadfast faith in your protection and your assurance. I know you are there for me, whether this change is aimed at refining my physical or my spiritual life. B’Shem Adonai Yeshua, Mashichainu.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you fully and richly.

By heartformessiah

Dr. Michael Wodlinger is a Messianic Jew, living in Quebec, Canada. He has been a university professor and a rabbi of a Messianic Fellowship.

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