The Christian Cares about Repentance, not Regret
We were working alongside the blind monk Isidoros from Philotheou Monastery of Mount Athos when a conversation began among some of the women and the old monk.
“Papouli, what is the difference between regret and repentance?” one of the woman asked.
“Ba! Regret! We don’t care about regret! The Christian cares about repentance. Forget regret!” he responded.
The Christian cares about repentance, not regret. But just how exactly can we distinguish between the two? [Read More…]
Repentance is a 60-year-old man looking back on his life and seeing all the mistakes, all the mishaps, the things he wishes he could change, and accepting he only has the ability to change the future. Repentance is tears, sighs, even moans for one’s mistakes, the things one shouldn’t have done, the things one has done, and the things one should have done. But, it is accompanied with a sober acceptance that I am mistaken. I am accountable for my mistakes and I will continue to make mistakes in my weakness if God does not help me in His mercy.
Regret is the thought, “I’m better than that.” Repentance is the thought, “I am weak, but God is strong.”
Regret is mingled with pride. Repentance proceeds out of humility.
Regret is wrapped up with egotism. Repentance is abandonment to God.
Regret is hopeless; it yields no positive change. Repentance is hope-filled; it knows that with God all things are possible.
Regret is of earth. Repentance is of heaven.
Regret looks backwards, yearning with a sick nostalgia to correct the past. Repentance looks forward, only glancing backwards to remind the self that the roads travelled in the past will not reach the desired destination.
Regret paralyzes. Repentance frees.