Pharaoh . . . said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” (Ex. 14:5)

Everyone has a few regrets. I regret buying a home at the peak of the housing bubble, even if the interest rates were low. And I regret being preoccupied with my work when my children were younger. I also regret calling my neighbor a naughty name when I was nine years old. I can still taste the soap in my mouth. In other words, I regret my mistakes, misjudgments, and plain, old sins. Looking back, I see those choices for what they were and lament making them.

Pharaoh had regrets too—actually one big one. He regretted setting the Hebrew people free. Never mind that he’d made the right choice, finally. With the benefit of a moment’s reflection, he felt bad about doing the honorable thing.

That’s more common than you might think. People often make a wise choice only to question it later. Have you ever quit a bad habit only to take it up again? Or broken off a wrong relationship, then run back to it? When the fire of conviction fades, it’s frighteningly easy to second-guess a righteous choice and regret your repentance.

When that happens, read the rest of Pharaoh’s story. Taking back a virtuous choice never ends well. If you’re going to embrace regret, regret the right things. Lament your sins. Trust your convictions. Stay the course.

Name the last good promise you made and determine to honor it.

Lawrence W. Wilson lives in rural Indiana where he enjoys cycling, yardwork, and reading a wide assortment of books.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.