“As our past increases and our future shrinks, however, our minds tend to start looking backward rather than forward. In some ways that’s natural and normal since there’s more to look back on than to look forward to. It can be good for us too; the past can be a source of tremendous joy and thankfulness as we reflect on the mercies we have received and enjoyed from God’s good hand. But that lingering backward look can also cause deep pain and even despair as we ponder bad decisions, bad choices, and bad relationships.” -David Murray, The Happy Christian
BTW NOTE: I often preach the imputed righteousness of Christ as a salve for the person struggling with regret. We look back and see failures, and are filled with shame. But in Christ, God looks ‘back’ at our life and only sees the righteousness of Christ and is well-pleased. In Christ, our past is no longer a thing to rationalize or defend or explain away or ignore. It’s covered with the righteousness of Another. That can give peace to a hurting heart.