My book If Only: Letting Go Of Regret released a year ago. I’ve been humbled and gratified by the wonderful response from readers and reviewers. A number have told me the book helped them recognize, confront and release their own long-standing regrets. This week, in celebration of God’s faithfulness, I’m re-running some of my favorite posts from the last year on the topic of regret.
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Today’s post is Dan Darling’s “Friday Five” interview with me about the book for Leadership Journal. Dan asked five great questions, and I remain grateful for the opportunity Dan gave me to launch a conversation about how church leaders can help others to prayerfully process regrets:
1) Regret is an interesting theme for a Christian book. You typically see a lot of books on fear or worry, but few on regret. Any reason why?
We sing about how we once were lost, and have now been found by our Savior. Our churches encourage us toward bold faith and celebrate stories of dramatic transformation. These are wonderful realities, but they can leave some of us with the impression that there isn’t room in our faith communities to deal with the effects of lingering regrets we’re carrying from before we came to faith in Christ. And what of the regrets we’ve accumulated during the time in our lives when we we’ve been committed Christians?
Too often, the church’s approach to the subject has left those of us struggling with lingering regrets a sense of shame; of shame on our part that we just can’t move on already. “You’re forgiven … period,” some have insisted. “Your regrets should no longer have any power over you now that you’re in Christ. Stop wallowing in the past.”
If only it were always that simple. [Read more]