I have heard the comment from several Christian individuals recently that they don't regret anything they've done. Their philosophy is that every experience, failure, and mistake is part of who they are. They believe that these mishaps have served to make them better, stronger people. This perspective concerns me, because I am afraid that these individuals have minimized their sin. More often that not, regret has initiated repentance in my life. After I have realized a mistake and failure, it causes me to fall on my knees before God, humble myself and ask for His forgiveness. It is His forgiveness and even discipline that has made me a stronger person, not the experience itself. If regret is absent, I fear that repentance is as well.
I obviously believe in the grace of God and in His ability to restore and make beauty from ashes. But, I do believe that there is a time and a place for us to appropriately feel shame for what we have done. This whole attitude of "I don't regret anything", is the same attitude that the Israelites had during Jeremiah's ministry. Many times what keeps me from repeating mistakes is the remembrance of the regret that I felt afterwards.
I am not speaking of condemnation, but of conviction. I truly believe that it is important for me to allow myself to feel the weight of the decisions I have made. That weight is what causes me to seek the lifter of the burden I'm carrying...Jesus. If we condition ourselves to feel no regret, we will not see the need to seek forgiveness. And that is a scary place.