In his book, If Only, Dr. Neal Roese makes a distinction between two types of regrets: he says there are regrets of action and regrets of inaction. A regret of action is “wishing you hadn’t done something.” Also known as a sin of commission. A regret of inaction is “wishing you had done something.” Also known as a sin of omission.
I think the church as a whole has focused on sins of commission for far too long. We have a long list of don’ts, or holiness by subtraction. And holiness certainly involves subtraction. However, I think God is more concerned about sins of omission; those things we could have and should have done but didn’t. Call it holiness by multiplication. If all we do is run from sin we are just half Christians, our calling is much higher than simply running away from what’s wrong. We are to run at what’s right.
In the book Dr. Neal stated that at the end of our lives, in retrospect, our main regrets aren’t going to be regrets of action but inaction. We won’t focus on what we did that was wrong, rather we will focus on the things that were right – which we didn’t do. What things should I be doing that I’m not doing right now? What dreams am I not chasing? What prayers am I not praying? What neighbors still don’t know about Jesus? What risks have I not taken?
Let this be the year that we start removing regrets. Let this be the year we take a chance on God.