God wants us to think about the shortness of our lives (Psalm 90:12; James 4:14). He wants us to ponder eternity (1 Pet. 1:3-9). Being a pastor allows me the privilege of staying close to suffering, sickness, and death. Yes, it's a privilege. And without fail, it provides numerous opportunities for reflection. Here are a few regrets I don't want to have on my deathbed.
1. I don’t want to regret the only time I read and studied God’s Word was when I had to teach or preach for the people of the church. I want to be able to say, “I read and studied God’s Word because I wanted to know and love God for Himself.”
2. I don’t want to regret the only time I was diligent in prayer was when I wanted God to do something for me. I want to be able to say, “I spent time in prayer just to praise God for who He is and enjoy communing with Him in prayer."
3. I don’t want to regret not devoting enough time and energy to the spiritual nourishment of my wife. Husbands are called to spiritually minister to their wives (Eph. 5:25-33). I want to be able to say, “I did that to the best of my ability!"
4. I don’t want to regret not discipling my children. Fathers are explicitly told to bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). I want to be able to say, “That was my fatherly commitment!"
5. I don’t want to regret being physically present, but mentally absent when I was with my family. Unwittingly, I would communicate to them they aren’t as important as the topic I’m preoccupied with at that moment. I want to be able to say, “When I was with them, I was really with them!"
6. I don’t want to regret being stingy with money. The gospel screams “Generosity!” (2 Cor. 8:9). I want to be able to say, “Our family gave sacrificially for the good of the church and the glory of God!"
7. I don’t want to regret being a “stick in the mud” with my family. I can be overly serious and way too intense. I want to be able to say, “I worked hard to make sure our family laughed and had fun together.”
What about you? What regrets do you NOT want to have on your deathbed?