Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Got Regrets?

Facebook is an interesting place.  I know some people who absolutely hate it and won’t use it.  I however, am one of those that use it all the time.  It’s a part of my life.  I am working on a dissertation about Facebook.  It has saved my sanity, kept relationships, built Christian fellowship, and entertained me.  I’ve read all manner of books and articles on Facebook.  I’ve read all manner of status updates as well.  I’ve even lost a friend or two because of Facebook.

Yesterday, I saw a status update from someone I have a complicated relationship with.  Their status concerned their philosophical observation about life.  Often Facebook statuses do seem to give you a window into the thoughts and soul of a person.  This person shared through cyberspace that the only thing they could control was themself.  That’s true. 

Someone else responded with the wise words of Steven Covey.  Between stimulus and response there is choice.  Then they added: you live with your choices.  The arrogant comment from this person was that they were with ALL their choices.

Now this blog is not about this person even though this person is very, very arrogant and would love to think that – sort of like the Carly Simon song: You’re So Vain.  Rather it is about choice and responsibility.  As I thought about it, I thought how in the world can anyone be happy with ALL his or her choices?  Whether it is the food you chose to eat that gave you indigestion or a life changing decision, I can’t imagine not having some bad choices in life.

I thought about my mother as I pondered this deep philosophical question.  I remember her saying to me one time that she had no regrets.  I wondered if she meant that she was happy with ALL her choices.  She had made her mistakes in life.  After all, only Jesus lived a perfect sinless life.  None of the rest of us can lay claim to a sinless, mistakeless status.  No one is born with perfect wisdom. 

I think what my mother meant had to do with responsibility and acceptance.   She was near the end of her life.  She had been emotionally preparing for leaving this world for a long time.  Spiritually she had been prepared since she was baptized at the age of 13.  But emotionally preparation for death is much different.  For long hours she sat in her room.  Often I would see her with her Bible on her lap and her arms raised.  Sometimes I would see that she had been looking at her mother’s obituary.  When she died, she was muttering mum, mum, mum – we wondered if she was seeing her mother.  Wondering if her mother had come to greet her as she entered glory? 

There is no way we can be happy with ALL our choices.  The best anyone can do is accept responsibility and accept that life is not perfect.    That takes humility.  That takes asking and giving forgiveness.   That takes love.  Most important that takes a Savior who comes and covers your sins. 

There is an odd little story in the Bible.  The Bible is full of surprises.  The Bible never sugar-coats the lives of its prophets and holy people.  That’s one of the reasons we can believe Jesus truly was perfect and sinless.  Everyone else’s blemishes and sins are thoroughly exposed.  This story is the last thing we know about Noah.  You know, the guy that built the Ark.  Noah, the one who was the sole recipient of grace from God in Genesis 6. 

At the end of his life he is laying naked and drunk in his tent.  One of his sons exposes him to ridicule and was cursed.  The other two cover him by walking in backward to cover his shame.  You can read about it here.   That is such a picture of how God covers our shame.  It is also a picture of how we should cover others.  We should lovingly cover them.  Their mistakes, their humanness, their shame doesn’t need to be exposed.  Tomorrow it may be you lying naked and drunk in the tent. 

Jesus summed it all up with the Golden Rule – do to others as you would have them do to you.  That’s responsibility.  That’s not arrogance.  That’s honesty.  In the darkness of night, alone in the tent, everyone knows there are some choices that should never have been made. 


  1. Yes, love indeed covers a multitude of sins. Love can sometimes be blind, but true love recognizes the faults and chooses to cover them, with love - just as you have so wisely stated.

  2. Joyce...
    This could be a very powerful teaching.
    It would set many people free.
    Because of the sermons I have recently heard and the way I feel the Lord has been directing me...I have been thinking of a choice we all have. That is the choice of forgiveness.
    Not making a choice to forgive( which really is a choice in itself) entangles one with the perpetrator. Neither of them are free. I want to chose the high road of forgiveness.
    Great blog!


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