15 Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions?
Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush!
Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.
They will be brought down when I punish them,”
says the Lord.
The shame, remorse, guilt, sorrow, and pain of my regrets have many a time led me straight to the liquor store (or gas station)! In the past, I have “played the tape” over and over and the result was always the same: I am a failure.
- People don’t need me.
- Employers don’t want me.
- And there’s no way that God can love me.
- Better drink. I’ll feel better and forget about that sh*t. That works, we all know it or we wouldn’t do it.
But wait a second… If I read the Bible verse above, isn’t God Himself angry at these people (referring to the people of Judah who won’t listen to God’s repeated warnings) for NOT being ashamed?
In fact, they were hard headed and spent 40 years wandering around the desert instead of just listening to God in the first place. How long am I going to “wander around in the desert” before I listen? It is important to know that their decision killed some of them, but at the end of the day (when they decided to change) God redeemed them!
The old me firmly believed that alcohol (and sometimes money) was the only solution for soothing my terrible emotions brought on by regretful actions AND this is important: Those regrets were caused by my solution!
Being that I am fairly new in sobriety “this time around” and that I don’t know everything there is to know about the Bible, I have two choices:
Plan A: Drink.
Plan B: Verify this new solution, and CHANGE my old ways.
I am ready to minimize my possible future regrets, so I choose B.
18 “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. 19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
2 Corinthians 7:10
10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
Even better!! Getting excited.
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Kind of makes me regret never taking the time to surrender to change years ago. I’m guessing some of the Judeans thought the same thing.
Well, here I am now and I know that I don’t want to drink again. I’d like to respect myself. I know that I’d like my family, friends, and employers to do the same and I need God in my life.
I know that it is a sin to continue to do or even entertain doing the same things that caused most of my regrets. Also, at the root of most of my regrets is the failure to love. The failure to love myself, my God, my family, friends, and others.
Here is an experiment that I am going to present you with to give an idea of that love:
Fill in the blank with any description or title you’d like: Alcoholic, Addict, Gay, Lesbian, Angry, etc., etc.
“When you claim you’re a(n) ________, do you mean that you embrace something good and God like? Or, do you view that as something to resist and by participating in it you will develop future regrets?”
Just for today, I will look ahead at my alcoholism as something to resist and I will stay sober and grow in Christ.
I will not regret the time wasted on entertaining regret and instead, I will reflect and be comforted by the lessons learned. That comfort will propel me forward instead of backwards.
Sorry, this came out so late today. I hope it helps someone. Comments are welcomed.
Today’s verse to “chew on”:
2 Samuel 12:13-17
13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.