For even though I did grieve you with my letter, I do not regret [it now], though I did regret it; for I see that that letter did pain you, though only for a little while.2 Corinthians 7:8 AMPC
Looking back, Paul realized that he had caused pain by some things he had written to the Corinthian Christians. He didn’t enjoy hurting them in that way and even regretted some of the things he had written.
Yet he realized that what he wrote had been beneficial. Even though these believers were “pained” for a time, this led them to “repentance” (v. 9). God accomplished His purposes through what Paul had written.
All of us can relate to Paul’s struggle. We all, at times, say or do things that we later regret. Some of these words and deeds may, in fact, be used by God, and accomplish things for His Kingdom.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Spend a few moments thinking about your life. We spew hurtful words and actions all too easily. As you look back over the past, are there things that you regret saying or doing? Do you wish you had said or done things differently?
You don’t need to wallow in guilt, but it is important to learn from the past and act as God leads you. Ask Him to help you do the things that you wish you had done. If you have hurt people with your words, made mistakes, or committed sins, confess them, and ask for His forgiveness.
Don’t look back with regret. Allow God to help you to be faithful going into the future.
Father, I don’t want to look back with regret. Give me Your priorities. Help me to stay faithful. In Jesus’ name, amen.