About two months ago I wrote a blog post on the subject of regret, in which I raised some questions about whether regret will be a part of the experience of the glorified in the new creation. I suggested with some uncertainty that I’m inclined to think that it will not be. My thoughts were in response to some of the things that Piper said in the second chapter of Life As a Vapor, “Suffering, Mercy, and Heavenly Regret.”
Recently, David Wayne, the JollyBlogger, picked up my post and expressed basic agreement with my concerns.
Just tonight Jon Bloom’s latest post at the Desiring God blog, 2 Kinds of Regret: Godless and Godly, caught my eye. Jon doesn’t address regret after this life, but some of his comments make me wonder if he’d agree with Piper. Here’s his conclusion:
A person who has godly regret grieves over the terrible thing he has done and believes that only God can help him. So he turns toward God in faith, confesses his sin, and looks to the cross where the penalty of that sin was placed on the Son of God.
He believes in God’s promise to forgive those who trust in his Son, and receives God’s free grace of forgiveness. Then he leaves his sin and lives in the freedom of the forgiven and not in the regret of the unforgiven.
This was Peter. His guilt was real and terrible. But he believed in Jesus and was forgiven.
The sentence I’ve bolded doesn’t have to mean that a believer won’t or shouldn’t ever feel regret for forgiven sin again, but what’s clear is that Jon sees living in light of our forgiveness in Christ as antithetical to living in regret. Earlier in the post, Jon said that “salvation meant they did not have to live (or die) in regret.” Regret, then, seems to be something to be avoided and certainly something not to live in. I’m having a hard time meshing this with Piper’s view of eternity as “a long time to regret a wasted life.” That sounds to me like living in regret. If we shouldn’t do it now, it’s hard for me to imagine that we should do it then.
Of course, Piper is talking about joyful regret, a concept I’ve still been unable to wrap my mind around. I’d be interested to here how Jon would interact with Piper’s thoughts on this.