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Session 8

How to break a cycle of regret

Read: Exodus 8

It happens to the best of us. We reach the end of a busy day, and someone asks for help with a simple task. Instead of responding with a simple yes or no, we snap. We say or do things that eight hours earlier we would have sworn would never happen. In that moment, we experience regret, but if nothing changes, we find ourselves repeating that moment over and over again.

In Exodus 8, Pharaoh goes through a similar cycle, relenting for a moment, then returning to the way things were. After each plague God sends on Egypt, Pharaoh has a moment of regret where he asks Moses to make the destruction stop. But then he goes right back to the way things were, and the cycle continues.

We all have those “throw our hands up, make it stop” moments. But regret and repentance are two different things. Regret is wishing something had never happened. Repentance is taking action to prevent something from happening again. Regret says, “Make it stop.” Repentance says, “Make me different.” Regret leads to remorse, but only repentance leads to change.

Pharaoh wanted God to fix his nation’s troubles, but he was not willing to change his heart or his mind on freeing God’s people. Too often, we do the same thing. We ask for relief from what ails us without any desire to change our thoughts or actions.  

Breaking the cycle starts with a breaking point. We have to want to follow Jesus more than we want to be right in our own eyes. This change of heart leads to a change in behavior. 2 Corinthians 7:10 describes it this way, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

God sent Pharaoh a way out of regret in the form of Moses’ constant invitation to repent, and He extends the same invitation to each of us through Jesus’ death on the cross. Saying yes to Jesus’ invitation gives us the power to change, but it’s only when we acknowledge our brokenness that we’re motivated to make a change.  

Reflect:

  • Is there any area of your life where you find yourself in a constant cycle of regret? If so, what is it?
  • Why is it so important that our hearts change before our behavior changes?  
  • What step can you take this week to move from regret to repentance? Maybe it’s a grudge you need to forgive or an unrealistic schedule you need to let go of.

1

What if the right thing costs you everything?

What if the right thing costs you everything?

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2

Are you in need of rescue?

Are you in need of rescue?

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3

Help is on the way

Help is on the way

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4

Looking for a sign that God is with you?

Looking for a sign that God is with you?

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5

What to do when God doesn’t meet your expectations

What to do when God doesn’t meet your expectations

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6

Will you let God set you free?

Will you let God set you free?

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7

Great success often starts with failure

Great success often starts with failure

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8

How to break a cycle of regret

How to break a cycle of regret

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9

What is your purpose in life?

What is your purpose in life?

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10

When you can’t see clearly

When you can’t see clearly

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11

We are all enslaved to something

We are all enslaved to something

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12

Freedom comes from following instructions

Freedom comes from following instructions

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13

How remembering the past shapes the present

How remembering the past shapes the present

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14

How to win the war

How to win the war

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15

How to celebrate life, even when it sucks

How to celebrate life, even when it sucks

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16

God’s presence is greater than His presents

God’s presence is greater than His presents

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17

God is our banner

God is our banner

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18

The gift we never knew we needed

The gift we never knew we needed

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19

The one person who never breaks a promise

The one person who never breaks a promise

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20

A new way to think about God’s commands

A new way to think about God’s commands

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21

Revenge isn’t as sweet as you think it will be

Revenge isn’t as sweet as you think it will be

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22

What if you are the thief?

What if you are the thief?

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23

Timing is everything

Timing is everything

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24

The key to effectiveness in the church

The key to effectiveness in the church

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25

Why you should give God your best

Why you should give God your best

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26

Worship is more than singing on Sunday

Worship is more than singing on Sunday

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27

What it means to be set apart

What it means to be set apart

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28

You were made to make a difference

You were made to make a difference

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29

Is impatience getting the better of you?

Is impatience getting the better of you?

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30

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

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31

You can come to God after a mistake

You can come to God after a mistake

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32

What happens when everyone gives what God says

What happens when everyone gives what God says

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33

How to do more than you ever thought possible

How to do more than you ever thought possible

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34

How to prepare our hearts for worship

How to prepare our hearts for worship

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