Failure is never quite so frightening as regret.
I've seen and/or heard comments such as this many times: "I've chosen to live my life with no regrets."
I think, on the one hand, I understand why someone might say this:
- To attempt to reassure his or her self that he or she is not a bad person based on making some poor choices.
- To attempt to convince us that despite making some bad choices, he or she is still a good person.
- To affirm God's ultimate control of the universe (cf. "providence"), meaning that what happens was meant to happen.
To live with no regrets, it seems to me, would mean never having made a mistake or a lapse in judgment or whatever. Right?
I understand the whole notion of God bringing good from bad, but that doesn't make the thing done good. Even Joseph recognized that the actions that resulted in his position of power & authority in Egypt were "meant for evil." (cf. Gen 50:20) A positive outcome does not validate a negative action.
To regret poor decisions and/or offending a holy God with sin doesn't mean we can't appreciate and enjoy the "fruit" of that which we regret, however. In fact, we probably should.
A classic example is pregnancy for an unwed mother. Some would err and say she's done nothing wrong since God will bless her with a beautiful baby. Others might err by saying that since she's done wrong, we shouldn't celebrate that gift of new life.
A baby is not a punishment, but a blessing to be enjoyed, but that doesn't mean we condone the behavior that brought us such joy.
In addition, I don't think we have to wait for the results to know if a decision was right or wrong. Sometimes that may be the case, but the end does not justify the means.
So, I try to live my life with no regrets, meaning I try not to do the wrong thing, but do the right thing. But, when I fail or waffle, I repent of my foolishness and/or lack of judgment and drive on.
I don't dwell on it to the point of paralysis, but regret does not necessitate that. If you waffle, regret it, and learn from it ... so you don't do it again.