It seems that it is during the holiday season when people take more time to reflect on life, and the goodness, which God has bestowed upon us.
It is also a time when loneliness and regret seem to rear its ugly head. May I make a few comments about regret?
First of all, past actions cannot be undone any more than you can replace a pillow with feathers that have been strewn across the country.
Secondly, past regrettable actions are great teachers to us about how to live an abundant life today — and to have the knowledge of “what not to do.”
Thirdly, there is forgiveness from God for those regrettable acts which you have committed. In fact, God readily forgives. He delights when His children come to him in brokenness and godly sorrow over those deeds. Society sometimes refuses to forgive - or else, it takes a while. Individuals sometimes fail to forgive you — mainly because they are wrestling with their own regrets and missteps. Since they refuse to forgive themselves, they find it hard to forgive you.
Fourth - God doesn’t intend for you to wallow in regrets and past mistakes of which He has already forgiven you. If you refuse to forgive yourself after God has already forgiven you, then you are trying to place yourself as a judge above God. You are beating yourself up needlessly.
Fifthly, when God forgives your sins, He removes them an infinite distance from you. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12. How far is that? Well, it is 12,500 miles from the North Pole to the South Pole. But the distance between the east and west is infinity. You can only go south so far; then you are headed north. But set out on a journey west — keep on circumnavigating the globe in that direction, and you will continue endlessly. That’s how far God removes your sin.
Sixth, God forgets your sin once He has forgiven your sin. “Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” God has placed a divine limitation on Himself when it comes to remembering past offenses. Not so with us — we are prone to never forget.
So if God has forgiven you for your past - which He said He would do when we confess to Him (1 John 1:9) then, by all means, forgive yourself. Jesus told the adulterous woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) If he can forgive a murderous persecutor of the church like Saul of Tarsus; or of the Apostle Peter’s denial of Him; or the adultery and murder committed by King David, then God has the infinite capacity to forgive you for your sins and your past.
That’s why you can forgive yourself, and no longer wallow in the regret of the past. Just do it!