That’s a beard-stroker

My sister-in-law, Beth, recently asked a thought-provoking question that I thought I’d throw out there:

Would you rather have regret for something you did or something you didn’t do?

Please comment.

8 responses to “That’s a beard-stroker”

  1. They’re both the same. I regret things I’ve done — kissing my wife before my wedding day (she wasn’t my wife at the time). I regret things I haven’t done — I didn’t spend enough time with Dad before he died.

    They’re both an acknowledgment that I was selfish… I chose what *I* wanted instead of doing what was right or what was better for someone else.

    It’s impossible to rank regret. We know that we’ve blown it in the past, and we can just hope that we learn from those mistakes and die daily to our selfish flesh.

    My $0.02…

  2. If regret can be ranked, it would be ranked by my emotional response once discovering my mistake.

    It is usually easier to see my mistake if it something I actually did.

    On the contrary, I can rationalize something I didn’t do based on the fact that I could not have known the outcome of performing said act.

    As a Christian, this is further complicated by the spirit’s prompting me to do/not do something. In that sence, God sees them as exactly the same- and so should we.

  3. Regret for something you’ve done is easier. You can act on that. It’s never too late. Wasting your mortal life on the frivolous or trite, not dreaming and reaching for something outside your box of the ordinariness of daily routine, not exploring how you might apply your God-given gifts to accomplish something excellent of redemptive value to others, not doing the hard thing in faith…and leaving no worthwhile legacy behind…and realizing it on your death bed…now that’s regrettable.

    Hopefully, we will “make hay” while it is yet day.

  4. i fall into the something i’ve done–often sparked by an action predicated in self…

    my action (and subsequent self-gratification) likely had an impact on someone–some innocent person who also bears the consequence of my choice.

    i can’t undo it once it’s committed. with inaction, i can choose to think it out better and choose a course more wisely.

  5. As I look back on my life, and the regrets I have, there are so few in the “didn’t do” column, that I’m going to have to stand on the “stuff I did” column. When I think about the things I’ve done, in some cases I’ve made terrible mistakes. I can point at times, that upon hind-sight, I did the wrong thing, but was convinced at the time it was the right thing. That’s a failure in judgement. Doing the wong thing when you know it’s wrong, that’s willfully disobedient. Worse, is intentionally cruel – and I know I’ve done that in my life as well. That’s the worst regret for me.

    I have very little memory of things I didn’t do at the time that I should have.

  6. If there is a dilemma, to do something or not to do, I think it’s best to err on the side of do. (Though in a true dilemma, both choices are equal.)

    At least then you’re regretting for a legitimate reason. Regretting something not done is hypothetical; regretting something done is real.

  7. Yes.

    This is a very interesting question indeed.

    Something that came to mind from Matthew 25…

    “41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
    44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    Here the problem is NOT doing God’s Will, so I suspect that on Judgment Day there will be a lot of folks wishing they had done lots more.