Shonebarger

Regret in life can be overwhelming. There are a multitude of scarred people who struggle daily with their past and the recollection of failures, sins and/or missed opportunities. The root of bitterness settles deeply within the soul and poisons the spirit. The ball and chain of life’s consequences weigh down that burdened soul. I have counseled thousands of folks who have fallen into this pit of despair. Is there hope for those consumed with the hurt from their past?

It was Country Music Hall of Famer Roy Clark who sang, “Yesterday When I Was Young.” The lyrics from the last verse say:

“Yesterday when I was young, there were so many songs that waited to be sung;

So many wild pleasures lay in store for me, and so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see.

There are so many songs in me that won’t be sung, cause I taste the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue,

And the time has come for me to pay for yesterday when I was young.”

The farthest thing from the mind of many youth is the future. The future is something way down the road and there is plenty of time to be an adult with its responsibilities. The temptation of instant gratification is powerful, seductive and addictive. The love of pleasure has destroyed many unsuspecting youth. Youth feels indestructible, invincible and free from all consequences. As stated above, “so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see.”

Naivety is not a free pass for an insatiable appetite for Satan’s delicacies! Satan has tempted, ensnared and trapped many in his wicked web of carnality. His mode of operation is to steal, kill and destroy.

In reference to Roy Clark’s song, payday had come. In life, we cannot get away with habitual, foolish behaviors for long. They WILL catch up to us. The law of sowing and reaping applies here; you reap what you sow. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap the whirlwind. Be sure your sin will find you out! It has been said, sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay!

People pay for their failures in innumerable ways. Many people suffer from the grips of depression or mental breakdown. Many people fight alcohol and drug addiction. Many people lose their jobs and face financial ruin. Many lose their families. Many people end up behind prison walls. Through it all, the regret, shame and hopelessness are emotions that paralyze many. The consequences are serious, but one must not give up.

Where does the hurting soul turn? The answer is found in the love of Jesus Christ. The Cross of Christ is the place where your sins were paid, in full. The precious blood of the Lamb of God was shed to cleanse and wash the vilest sinner clean. Through His crucifixion and bodily resurrection we may be forgiven and given new life, by faith. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

The good news is that there is light at the end of the darkness. While there are consequences to our actions, like serving a prison term, a new life in Jesus Christ provides strength for the journey, purpose for living and a plan for the future. There is no reason to gaze back in the rearview mirror with tears in our eyes and relive every failure and bad decision. We have been pardoned, we have been set free and we are a new creation destined for an abundant life. The pathway of faith is lit, to guide us into blessing and fruitfulness.

While we have focused on the regrettable decisions of youth, we also recognize we are all susceptible to foolish decisions. The solution is the same, faith in Jesus Christ. Let me conclude by saying there are many people out there who need a loving friend to kneel down beside them and minister to their wounds. Let us all be the Good Samaritan and help the hurting.

Have a great week and remember, God loves YOU!

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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