Some Things You will Never Regret
by Kenneth E. ThomasWHO WOULD DARE SAY THAT he never did anything that he didn't later regret? Probably no one in his right mind. John, by inspiration, says that the man who says he has not sinned makes God a liar and His word is not in him (1 John 1:10). Certainly one whose heart isn't hardened through the deceitfulness of sin will regret past mistakes and repent of them (2 Corinthians 7:10; Hebrews 3:13). Let's study about some things you will never have to repent of, and for which you will never have regret.
When you tell the truth, you don't have to worry about remembering what you told. When the subject comes us again you simply relate the facts as they are and they will always be the same. This cannot be said for those who practice deceit. They must always be careful so as not to be tripped up when the subject under consideration is discussed and questions are asked. One who so conducts himself must be miserable indeed!
The reason for being honest and truthful should not be because we simply want good human relations; the overriding reason for any morality in life is because we are responsible to our Creator and must give an account one day for the deeds done in the body ( 2 Corinthians 5:10). Paul ad- monishes us, "Therefore putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another" (Ephesians 4:25,). To the Colossian brethren Paul said, "Do not lie to one another, since you have put on the new man who is the image of Him who created him" (Colossians 3:9-10).
Lying is a way of life with many. That's a fact which you, too, have had to accept sadly. I'm confident as you deal with your fellow man in the market place, on the athletic field, and even over a friendly game around the table, you have found this to be the case. It shouldn't be so surprising that this is so in a world that is under the control of Satan, the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4). However, even among non-Christians, in past years honesty was more common than it is today. Sadder still, is that many times brethren will be dishonest with you; this is about more than one's heart can stand. It used to be an isolated case that such would happen and then only under extreme pressure. Even then, when such was brought to light, the brother/sister would humbly admit his/her sin, confess it, and repent with tears. Today, too often you catch a brother/sister in a lie and it doesn't seem such a big thing to him/her. The practices of the world have affected us so that many things which used to cause horror are only mildly protested, if at all.
We must understand that lying will keep one out of heaven, the eternal city of God. "But cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers. sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). You will never regret telling the truth.
If you try as hard as you can to do the best you can do, as my step-father used to say, "That's all a mule can do." None of us measure up to our own potential. But something can certainly be said for the one who is always willing to try when called upon to be of service to God and others. Few, if any, will criticize a person who does the very best he can. I don't believe the Lord will either, but He does expect us to put out effort. In Ecclesiastes 9:10, the wise man said, ":Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Some of the apostle Paul's enemies said of him that "his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible" (2 Corinthians 10:10), but he said to the brethren at Rome, "So as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome also" (Romans 1:15).
Preachers, and other members of the body of Christ; do the best you can with the ability that you have and you will never have any regrets. Make the application of this to every area of your life as a Christian and you can lie down a night with a clear conscience before man and God. See Paul's statement in Acts 20:17-27.
Someone said, "Be sure you put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion." Paul, by inspiration, said it in these words: "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one" (Colossians 4:6). We sing a beautiful hymn which pleads with us, "Angry words! O let them never from the tongue unbridled slip!" It is so easy to sin in anger. In fact, the Scripture states that the "wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God" (James 1:20). Knowing this, Paul writes, "Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27). The old adage, "Think twice before you speak" is good advice because it follows a biblical principle. "Therefore, my brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).
Unfortunately, in my past twenty-five years plus of preaching Christ, I have felt the need to write a few letters and to make a phone call or two for the purpose of "setting the record straight." Having been falsely accused, I was sure I was doing the right thing. The calls always messed up more than they cleared up; well, maybe not always, but usually. I took the advice of some older men concerning letter writing and let them lie there, allowing myself to cool off before mailing them. Guess what? I still have some of them (most, in fact) somewhere in my files. They were never sent. There are times when one must speak out in defense of self and actions as it relates to divine truth. But usually if one's reputation is what it should be, those who really matter will not believe untruths told about him; and those who will would not listen to one's defense anyway, regardless of how factual the material presented or how sweetly written or stated. With those few rare exceptions I have already stated, tear up that letter written in haste and anger and do not make that phone call.
When one realizes his lost condition before a holy God and the price God had to pay for his redemption and then responds in humble obedience to the gospel of God's grace, thereby being forgiven and placed in a relationship with the saved of all the ages, there is reason for great rejoicing! (Romans 3:23; 5:6-9; Acts 20:24; 8:39; Hebrews 12:22,28). To be granted the right by Jesus Christ to approach the majestic throne of God's grace in worship, and in petition and thanksgiving, what a privilege! (Hebrews 4:14-16; Ephesians 3:20-21). Being a child of the king is something no one could ever regret. But look at the other side of the matter. What of those who obey not the gospel and those who turn back to serving Satan? They will have eternity to regret their mistakes (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). Why not resolve, if you haven't done so, to obey the Lord and reap by grace the benefits of His blood - and continue to live so that you will never have any regrets, here or hereafter?