Regret vs Repentance
Mt 27:3-5 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
LESSON - These two words have similarities but two completely separate destinations. Repentance has a connotation of grace and restoration while regret is the first stage of a downward spiral that ends in guilt and despair. When sin is revealed, both have similar beginnings after the conscience is activated. A person’s next response determines the direction they will take. We should be especially sensitive to people struggling with sin. Our ultimate goal is for them to be reconciled to Christ, not to provide greater condemnation. Only the Holy Spirit can provide conviction. We must be careful not to utilize guilt as a form of manipulation to bring about outward conformity when what people really need is inward transformation. Paul knew this when he preached before King Agrippa who responded by saying “almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Always look for opportunities to be a source of edification, not condemnation. Remember, when people are hurting you never know what direction they are heading. Help them head towards the Lord.