A young lady went to a Tattoo Studio and asked for the image of a loved one to be tattooed on her leg. The finished product was terrible. Instead of being the beautiful face of her child, it resembled a character from a Mr Magoo cartoon. The owner of the studio was as shocked as everyone else. He had known the tattoo artist for years and showed photographs of his otherwise good work. He had since severed ties with him and the image on the young lady’s leg was reworked to her satisfaction. As for the artist, no explanation was forthcoming. Not even as much as a “I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me, I won’t do that again.”
The older we get as Christians the wiser we become in our interactions with others. We tend to shape our conversations to leave others better for the experience. Gone are the days where we must win every argument or be the centre of attention. Experience has taught us that:
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 11:30).
But the wisdom gleaned from your years of walking with Jesus will also produce a list of regrets you didn’t think you would have. Looking back, you will see things that you had done that you didn’t think anything of at the time.
On more than one occasion I have expressed sorry and regret for words of actions done decades ago. It was easy at the time to justify them amidst the heightened emotions of all parties concerned. Even if the other party was “mostly at fault,” that did not excuse any hurt I added to the situation.
Jesus does not expect us to wear our past regrets like sackcloth and ashes. We are to seek the forgiveness from those we have offended and forgive those who have offended us. Then we are to get on with sharing the reason that we won’t do that again!
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matthew 5:23-24).