“3PO, you tell that slimy piece of worm-ridden filth he’ll get no such pleasure from us. Right?”
One of all-time favorite lines from any movie. Facing certain death, Han Solo retorts with a smart-mouthed, belligerent comment. No matter what came next, he was going to make sure he had left no stone unturned. He ensures he had no regrets, no guilt of choices he made or didn’t make.
It often feels as though I navigate through life with a worldview almost the exact opposite. There have been many days long since passed, I awoke with a strong sense of guilt and regret.
I no longer wake and face each day this baggage weighing me down. I don’t know that I face each day with the brashness of Han Solo, but I don’t start each day full of guilt and regret either.
Over the years, I have strived to live the words of Paul in Philippians 4:11-12,
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Being satisfied, happy, content. I would never complain to have attained this, I have moved beyond the guilt and regret.
Seems like a cop-out answer and it partially is. But it is also true. I have had to allow him to be my starting point and my ending. Not myself or my own performance as a father and husband. I had to learn to find my purpose, existence and meaning in something other than me.
So, Jesus. I have learned to define myself by the same terms he uses to define me.
Saved. Brother. Friend. Child of God, covered by the sacrificial blood of the son of God.
When I learned to define myself as Jesus defines me, the guilt and regret went away. It stills rears its ugly head from time to time. But they don’t consume me. They don’t become who I am, because they aren’t me.
Now I wake each morning with a sense of freedom. A sense of relief. Knowing I don’t have to perform or act or live a certain way… because it was already lived for me. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I want to let the reality of brokenness and hurt tell me who I am.
But I can’t. Because that truth isn’t true. It’s a lie. I am not guilt. I am not regret.
I am covered by the blood of Jesus.