Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
One truth that gives us hope about living without regrets is the possibility of change.
You may know the name of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prizes, which honor outstanding achievements in five areas: chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, literature, and work in peace. What you may not know is how the Nobel Prizes got started. Alfred Nobel was the inventor of dynamite. He was a Swedish chemist who made his fortune by selling the license to dynamite to other countries so they could blow one another up.
One day Alfred Nobel’s brother died, but the newspaper made a mistake. Instead of printing Alfred’s brother’s obituary, they accidentally ran Alfred’s obituary. And so Alfred Nobel had the unusual experience of reading his own obituary. As he read what the newspaper wrote about him, Alfred realized that he would be forever remembered as the inventor of dynamite. He would be known as the man responsible for millions of people being killed. Alfred decided he didn’t want to be remembered for that, so he took a large chunk of his fortune and established the Nobel Prizes. Today, few people know that Alfred Nobel was the inventor of dynamite. Instead, they remember him for all the good that he did for humanity.
Now, most of us will never achieve the fame and fortune of Alfred Nobel—but don’t miss the point. The point is we all have the possibility to change. As you look back, you may say, “I do have some regrets. I have some regrets about my marriage. I have some regrets about what I have done or haven’t done with my children. I have some regrets about my finances. I have some regrets about investing my time and money in the things of this world instead of in the kingdom of God. I have some regrets about my relationship with God.”
If that is true for you, then I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that you cannot regain the lost opportunities of yesterday. But the good news is there are changes you can make right now that will reshape your tomorrow and your eternity. You don’t have to live with regrets—change is possible!
I think that is what the apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote in Philippians 3:13–14, “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living without Regrets” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.