At this judgment seat, our salvation is not on the line, but our rewards are. In that day, some will feel deep sorrow and regret for the life they squandered and choices they made. Regret on that day will be a terrible, irreversible pain.
I know I have done things I regret. So has your mother and father, your best friend, your doctor – and I’m sure, you. Life is full of things we wish we could undo: a sarcastic remark that hurt a friend, a bad thought or action, even regrets of not doing enough good.
It would be nice if life had an undo button, but it doesn’t. The cold, stark reality is that our choices and actions affect us. There is, of course, forgiveness, but there are still repercussions to our actions.
Take King David for example: his sin with Bathsheba was forgiven, but his illegitimate child still died as a consequence.
“And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’” 2 Sam. 12:13-14
How can a person live without regret?
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but I believe these to be fundamental cornerstones of living a life without regret:
- Write down your life vision/goals. We must view our lives as a whole, not just as a collection of here-and-now moments. When we write down our life vision and goals, our life becomes focused. The way we spend our time must fall in line with the vision.
- Plan your day-to-day, week-to-week schedule. Our life vision is meaningless if it doesn’t transcend from paper into our day-to-day life. iCal or Google Calendar are great tools to plan your day in 15-30 min segments. Get a weekly routine going and stick with it. You’ll find that you have so much time that you’ll have to intentionally think What do I want to do with all this extra time?
- Get it into your head: Your actions matter! We must live intentionally and not frivolously spend our time. If you think you can do whatever you want whenever you want and ‘figure life out’ later, then you’re in for a sad wake-up call!
Side note: while life is not a problem to be solved, but an adventure to be lived, we should still intentionally set up time-boundaries so we can maximize the adventure of life. We only have one life to live – why squander it? We must stop living life as if we have an undo button – we don’t! We only have reward or regret. Make the right choice.