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Author Topic: Do we have to regret our sins?  (Read 364 times) Average Rating: 0
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choy
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« on: September 04, 2012, 07:54:57 PM »

Repentance, I learned (and correct me if I am wrong) means changing our minds about something.  So from living sinfully, we repent and live a holy life.  Is it okay if I never ever felt regret for sins in the past but knowing they are wrong and not the ways of God want to reform from them?  Like, I have done things in the past that are wrong but I have to admit for the time it was fun and I don't know if I can ever say I regret it.  But my resolve now is never to do it again.

Is this an acceptable spiritual approach?  Or am I just setting up a spiritual trap for myself which I will fall into in the future?
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 08:04:16 PM »

I think you can regret the circumstances in which you allowed something to happen, without condemning that thing itself.

Sometimes.

Sometimes, only.
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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choy
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 08:08:22 PM »

I mean, given what I know now, I wouldn't do it.  But given what I know then, if things were to happen all over again and I know as much at that point in time as I did back when it first happened, I probably will choose to do it all over again.  So I don't know if that would qualify as regret.

Or maybe I just need to "grow up" some more?
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 08:14:03 PM »

No regrets.

One you've repented why think about it?
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 08:23:11 PM »

This reminds me of a friend of mine.

This friend firmly believes that there can be no regret if you make a choice in life "that was the best choice at the time, given the knowledge available."

I get that perspective, I really do.

But what it's really saying is:

"I don't want to be blamed for a choice that was the best choice at the time, given what I knew then."

Here's the thing, though. It's not about blame in a moral sense. I don't think God is saying to us, "I labeled this action bad for an arbitrary reason. You did it. Therefore I label you with a guilty label." That's a childish approach to God and a childish approach to life.

Rather, if we, for whatever reason, even unwillingly, are wrapped up in a destructive act, we need to turn from that act. If I kill someone by accident, I'm not guilty in a moral/external sense. Nobody is going to blame me. But I was *coupled* with that event, an event that is part of the larger suffering of humanity. And while we are not "legally" responsible for the individual sins of mankind, we certainly are responsible as members of one another and as high priests of creation.

And so I need to come to terms with such an event as best I can, by exercising my function as a royal priest of God (and we believe that we are all royal priests) and name that event for what it is.  Name that event as something that was providentially God's will, yes, but, if it is destructive and evil, something that he does not want as part of the Reign of Heaven. God told us to "name the beasts" and I believe that means to call out the reality of something, the truth in something. Even tragedies we were only indirectly a part of. Even honest mistakes.

So let's say you had pre-marital sex with someone. Someone you didn't have any intention of being with for very long, if at all. You can say, "You know what? That act was not devoid of any attempt at beauty or love or truth; there really is something struggling to be good, and even something struggling to become like God there. But it was wrapped up in destruction and tragedy, and I was part of it, and so I turn from it."
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 08:40:33 PM »

I totally see that Nicholas, it excuses a need for consequences. I don't like that attitude of "well this was the best choice at the time" because you are exactly right.The only real problematic issue I take with regrets is that it hold us back from moving away from it or causing a form of depression. I've seen plenty of folks get so enthralled with their regrets that are extremely depressed. I can look at my own life and see the sin that I've caused which would create an enormous amount of regret.

However do you feel that there needs to be an acceptance of things done in the past?

EDIT: Sorry the above sounds really botched up, I didn't want to get all New-Agey.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 08:51:20 PM by Achronos » Logged

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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 09:42:59 PM »

FYI, Achronos, I was responding to the OP and not you.  Wink

Anyway, it depends on what you mean by acceptance, I suppose.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 09:43:35 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 09:52:26 PM »

FYI, Achronos, I was responding to the OP and not you.  Wink

Anyway, it depends on what you mean by acceptance, I suppose.
Yeah I totally didn't want to get into the whole forgive yourself thing. Wink

EDIT: I know you weren't responding to me.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 09:52:57 PM by Achronos » Logged

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choy
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 12:21:19 AM »

No regrets.

One you've repented why think about it?

Well, I would say I haven't fully repented.  Or have achieved full repentance.  I am wondering, as someone who is brought up in the RC tradition, should remorse and sorrow and regret really be part of repentance?  I do realize that regret without reform is hollow.  I just want to make sure I got it right.
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 07:44:03 AM »

No regrets.

One you've repented why think about it?

Well, I would say I haven't fully repented.  Or have achieved full repentance.  I am wondering, as someone who is brought up in the RC tradition, should remorse and sorrow and regret really be part of repentance?  I do realize that regret without reform is hollow.  I just want to make sure I got it right.

Choy, perhaps 'remorse' is more of what you are looking for?  It sees there is holy guilt and unholy guilt.  Remorse goes with holy guilt, regret goes with unholy guilt . . .if I understand the Holy Fathers correctly.  Remorse recognizes the loss of your actions and the harm your actions have caused.  Regret goes back to that place over and over and over again and punishes you for what has been forgiven and is done. 

Does this make any sense?
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 08:57:52 PM »

I think the repentance comment makes sense. If you have repented, you will not need to justify anything in the past. You will see it for what it was.
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 09:43:17 PM »

I believe regret, remorse, and guilt are all part of repenting.   I can't imagine truly being sorry for your sins without at least one of those.
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