ODJ: no regrets

January 5, 2015 

READ: Matthew 25:14-30 

I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth (v.25).

Sociologists at one university recently completed a study on regret. In it, they examined whether people felt more regret over what they had done or what they had failed to do. The researchers found that people’s regrets over their actions or inactions were roughly even when asked about the past week. Nearly the same number said, “I wish I hadn’t done that” as those who said “I wish I had done that.” But when asked to consider their life’s largest regrets, the vast majority said they were more troubled about missed opportunities. As John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’ ”

Some missed opportunities are larger than others. Jesus told a parable to explain that God gives each of us responsibilities in His kingdom. In the story, each servant was given one, two or five bags of silver based on what he could handle. The servant who received one bag went and buried it because, as he told his “harsh” master, “I was afraid I would lose your money” (Matthew 25:24-25).

Do we pass up kingdom opportunities because of fear? If we believe that our God is a good King, we can trust Him enough to try new things.

Sometimes our problem is more sinister. The master told the servant with the one bag that he was “wicked and lazy”, for he could have earned interest by depositing the silver in a bank (vv.26-27).

Do we pass up kingdom opportunities because we’d rather not be bothered? If we believe God has gifted us to serve others, then we’d better serve them. The consequences can be dire, as the “useless servant” in Jesus’ story was thrown “into outer darkness” (v.30).

God has given us one life to live for Him. Let’s do so with no regrets.

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan› Genesis 7:1-24

Read Luke 16:19-31 to learn how to avoid the regret of a wasted life. 
How will you serve God today? What talents, gifts or resources should you be using for His glory?