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No Room for Regrets

There is no room for regrets in positive thinking. Norman Vincent Peale says the word isn’t even in the Bible.

Norman Vincent Peale

Many times in my counseling work I have encountered people who seem determined to go through life facing backward. Instead of focusing on the challenges of today or tomorrow, they keep looking back to some mistake or failure, some plan that went awry, some goal not reached. And this disappointment hangs around their necks like a millstone, weighing them down, draining their energy, holding them back.

Even the best of us suffer from this millstone mentality at times. Charles L. Allen, a much-loved pastor, used to tell of driving with his wife through an arid part of New Mexico when he discovered that his money clip was missing. Thinking he might have dropped it in the car, he pulled off the road, got out in the searing heat, and searched on the floor, under the seat, everywhere. He even opened his suitcase and looked through the clothing he had worn the previous day. Nothing.

He stood there in the sun, lamenting his loss until finally his wife spoke up a bit sharply. “If the money’s gone,” she said, “it’s gone. Are we going to stand here in the desert all day, or are we going to accept what we can’t change and get on with our trip?”

They did continue, of course, and Charles Allen said that later on, whenever disappointments happened or things didn’t go as planned, the thought would come to him, “Am I just going to stand here in the desert moaning, or am I going to get out of the desert and move forward on the journey of life?”

It’s a question all of us might ask when we find ourselves facing backward, staring at mistakes that can’t be mended.

Regret. That’s a word you won’t find in the Bible, not in your King James Version. I know, because I’ve looked. Why not drop it out of your vocabulary too?

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