Oct 16, 2023  | Loving Your Regrets

When we learn to love our regrets, we can grow from them and discover that it’s never too late to start over.

Opening Questions

  1. How have you been able to B.L.E.S.S. someone recently?
  2. Tell us a story about a time you wanted a do-over.
  3. Author Daniel Pink writes that the most common emotions are love and regret. We all experience regret, and those regrets can lead us further from God, but they can also help us grow as people with God and others. In what ways have you seen people respond to regret? What were the outcomes?

Regrets Discussion

When we consider regrets, we really could place our regrets into three large categories or buckets of regret. Read through the descriptions below and talk about them as a group.

  • Regrets of Action – These things make us smack our foreheads and say, “Ugh! I wish I’d never . . .” It could be a lie we told, a relationship we torpedoed, or a dumb choice; the list is endless.
  • Regrets of Inaction – These are things we wish we would have done but didn’t. It could be opportunities missed, time wasted, risks not taken, and the list goes on and on.
  • Regrets of Reaction – Sometimes, our greatest regrets start with something that was done to us. It could be abuse, neglect, betrayal, illness, etc. When bad things happen to us, even if it was no fault of our own, we regret them. What can be problematic is what we do in response.
  1. What do you think about these categories of regret? What bucket would you say hold the majority of your regrets??

Bible Discussion

  1. Read John 13:36-38; 18:15-19, 18:25-27. Peter denied Jesus and immediately regretted his decision. In what bucket would you place Peter’s regret? What category of regret do you think Peter experienced?
  2. Read John 21:15-19. After Jesus’ Resurrection, he met with Peter to address his regret. Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love me?” Indeed reliving that failure with Jesus was a painful experience for Peter. Jesus models for us the importance of addressing our failures. What negative consequences have you seen or experienced as a result of unresolved regret?

Life Application

The trouble we may have is learning how to move beyond our regrets. We may play them over and over again in our minds. As a result, we can get stuck in useless regrets. Psychologists call this rumination – like a cow chewing cud, we hash it out again in our minds, which is detrimental to our well-being. This damages our minds and body and keeps us from recovering from stressful life events. So instead of ruminating on our regrets in a harmful, damaging way, the challenge is to learn to love our regrets. Don’t think of regrets as something we try to live without but as reminders that we can do better! In her popular TED talk, journalist Kathryn Schulz concludes with this word of advice: “Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly. It reminds us that we know we can do better.” Regrets are like feedback on our lives; if an action, inaction, or reaction has proved harmful, you can learn from it and do better next time.

  1. What do you think about the advice from Kathryn Schultz?
  2. In what ways have your regrets offered important feedback? What current regrets could you learn from today?