Doing women’s ministry means hearing lots of personal stories from other gals’ lives. Nothing saddens me more than hearing them express regrets for making certain choices. Sometimes these choices are moral issues; sometimes not. Here are some examples:
- I shouldn’t have become involved in a relationship with so-and-so. I’ve had nothing but heartache ever since.
- We shouldn’t have bought the house in which we live. Now we have too much financial pressure.
- I shouldn’t have spoken angry words at so-and-so. I wrongly jumped to conclusions before opening my mouth, and my words hurt her.
- Years ago, I sensed God asking me to take a risk. I refused because I was afraid. Now I feel as though I missed His plan for my life.
My first response is to encourage women to remember that God is sovereign and to not become mired in regrets. When our hearts honestly desire His glory, He will turn negative situations around. We learn from the past, but we don’t have to let it define us.
My next response is to ponder the underlying reason for their making these choices in the first place. Here’s my hypothesis, found in Mark 12:24—“Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” Jesus spoke these words to the religious leaders of His day. How do they apply to us?
- A woman fears spending her life alone. In haste, she gets involved with a guy who shows interest. Later she discovers things about him that she wishes she’d known before giving her heart away. Perhaps, if she’d known the power of God that’s accessible to her, she would have trusted Him to either bring a good man to her in His timing or to help her be content as a single.
- A couple take on crippling debt to live in a house they don’t really need. Why? Because they don’t know the Scriptures that encourage them to be content living with less, and the power of God that can enable them to possess this quality.
- Someone speaks angry words. Why? Because she doesn’t understand the Scriptures that teach the importance of speaking life-giving words and the power of God able to help her control her tongue.
- Someone refuses to accept God-given risks. Why? It’s likely a lack of familiarity with His promises of presence and provision and a lack of trust in His power to do what He says He will do.
God has our best interests in mind and He promises to guide us continually, but we have to do our part, too. Being familiar with the Word and trusting God to do what He says is vital. Not doing these things is a big mistake—one that we can easily avoid. And when we avoid this mistake, we can live life without regrets. Sounds good to me. How about you?
#bgbg2 #devotions #LifeWithoutRegrets
Thank-you for this message today, Grace. I certainly agree that mistakes, wrong choices and the like, are most often because we don’t know the Scriptures, but also because we too often take action before going to God first, and then hearing from Him, before we act. I don’t believe that anyone can ever get it all perfect, but usually, God will give us a kind of pattern to follow for the realm we live in. But changes can come when we least expect them.
There was a man in one of the local churches, a farmer. He had done his farming basically the same for 40 years, with a few updates. He and his wife and kids were very successful, well-known and helpful in the church. He held a kind of fellowship place in a fairly large building on his property, which was made very nicely and all were welcome. Everyone loved to go there. He and his wife and family sometimes did small missions in different countries, and every thing seemed easy for them. But one day, he was combining, and something made the combine get clogged or stuck, and apparently his friends had been telling him the new way of dealing with a combine, or having it changed, and he said,” Oh, I’ll just do what I’ve always done”; and he didn’t take it to heart that they were telling him all this for a reason. So he got out of the seat, and went around, and he used a stick or branch, leaned over to unclog something, and the thing started up, so it was said, and it took hold of him and he fell in and was chewed to pieces. He’d been to church one Sunday, and the next Sunday, the funeral had already been done. I’ve never forgotten that.
Oh, that’s so tragic!
May our hearts always be open to hearing God’s voice and following His lead even if it means change. We can avoid a lot of heartache when we do so.
We have been learning to follow God’s word in a lot of things, but we still make mistakes. One thing I am learning is that many young couples just starting out seem to lack patience, and some disciplines. For instance, it’s a lie that we need to “get” everything we want when we are just starting out in life, and in fact, life is a lot easier with just the necessities, and a few niceities (spelling?) (things we want and like to have).
Another thing I’m learning is that in a church-life, a few shouldn’t have to do everything, because many don’t want to get involved. I don’t know how one would manage that, but I do know that there is lack in the church because people are so taken up with their own lives, and when they have problems, they expect someone at the church to help them…….don’t get me wrong……..but it’s almost as if the people who really do need help, then don’t get it……………but big and pushy does. You have made some very good points, I think, and the one about relationships, well……………
we know so many families that are so messed and when we attended a function recently in the church, several families were there and the kids were there with both Moms and both Dads, and in some cases, the two other dads from the Mom’s other kids, before she ever got married at all. I see the “first wife” often looking at her “first husband” like she remembers how beautiful it was when they met, and now things are so messed up that she doesn’t know how to get it right again, while her present husband is playing with a techy gadget or running after one of his-her-or their children!!!???? I do agree that we need the Scriptures now, more than every before in all humankind. And we need to go deeply and reverently into them, and very regularly, and church leaders and those qualified to teach the word of God (Bible) need to hold steady and steadfast Bible study meetings in a proper place where everyone is welcome………..beginning with their own congregation.
Yes, Marge, we live in a messed up world. And that’s exactly why Jesus came to rescue us and set us free from the mess we’re in.
I’m thankful to hear that these families you describe feel welcome in your church. There’s a zillion other places they could be spending their time, but they’re choosing to be amidst believers in God’s house. PTL! I hope your congregation models Christ to them.
Sorry these are so long………but I guess you touched on something here with me just at this specific time.
Last year (and pardon my adacity), a Senior Pastor who is equipped and knowledgeable in God’s Word, began a Bible Study in his spacious and comfortable home, for once a week, for young couples. Apparently it went well, but some were offended when finally they had something where they were taught and could learn the Word of God, when the Pastor and wife would then suddenly cancel the meeting , because they were doing, “this or that”. We all know that emergencies can happen, and life has its ups and downs, and callings, etc., but what I can’t understand is why so many “Leaders” work alone as if “they” are ‘it'”. This pastor did not relocate the Study to the Church (next door), or allow anyone else to come into his home to conduct the Study while he was away. The couples were just left high and dry, and to me that is equal with the world………………….except that in the world, they know better, and often wouldn’t work things that way. There’s so much to learn everywhere……………..and sometimes no one wants to hear about something else that needs to be changed for the better. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, I find.
Personally, I love the Word of God, and it is always available and doesn’t argue. God’s word is comforting, instructing, directing, soothing, teaching and disciplining (for those who love God), and it is beautiful, and living, and working and chastising, and promising and everything else. God’s Word will stand forever.
Sometimes leaders work alone because they’re insecure. They feel threatened by the prospect of another person doing a great job and perhaps “outshining” them. Sad but true. If that’s the case, then praying for them to admit to and then address the root cause for their insecurity would be really helpful.
Thank-you, Grace. Beautiful responses! Yes, these families are getting full acceptance in our church, and we have seen changes in most of them in the way that they are choosing to teach their children and guide them more, and in the way that they choose to be in a relationship.