Remorse vs Regret
by Joel Fernandez
There is actually an enormous difference between remorse and regret, despite the fact that they seem observationally equivalent. Remorse is when a person feels bad about about something that they have done, and regret is when a person feels bad about a consequence. Even though the two terms are not mutually exclusive, it is very common for one to be confused with the other either intentionally or by accident. Whatever the case may be in any given person’s individual life, today’s conversation will be about how to tell the difference between the two.
Let’s start off by saying that it is perfectly natural to experience both of these emotions during the course of a natural life. It is important to make that clear now because this is essay will eventually culminate in a brief discussion about the eternal implications that entail in situations where only one term is appropriately applicable. At any rate, the significance of the distinction between the two words will be made abundantly clear far beyond the realm of semantics.
If you have ever heard the saying that “it’s only cheating if you get caught”, then you are already well aware of the difference between regret and remorse. If a person cheats someone else and gets away with it, the lack of remorse will be strongly reinforced by the aforementioned saying. In the most extreme cases, the person who is cheated will experience life altering setbacks that could take years to recover from; and that’s only if recovery is possible at all. In contrast, the cheater will sleep like a baby and might even laugh at the person who was cheated for an indefinite period of time.
It is precisely that kind remorselessness that precludes the definition of remorse. For the paradoxically blatant cognitive dissonance to become a paradigm, it must be reinforced by the culture in which the ideology resides. Such a philosophy would be harmless if it weren’t for the eternal implications that some people choose to ignore. Unfortunately, in this day and age it has become commonplace to ignore the capabilities of God the father.
If a person chooses to trivialize the actuality of God the father’s omniscience and omnipresence, it is only because such a phenomenon is actually unfathomable by the human brain. While it is true the humanity has been given dominion over the earth, that dominion does not extend into the spirit world. In any case, God the father actually sees all and hears all. Which brings us to the significance of the distinction between regret and remorse. Regret is what true believers feel when they know that they have offended God and apologize to him before they die. Regret is what happens when a person dies and goes straight to hell because they chose to ignore the truth when they were given the choice.
There’s actually no sin that God the father considers unforgivable if a person shows him true remorse before death. Moreover, God’s selective benevolence compels him to deliver a person from death until after the correct eternal choice has been made. In other words, the fact that he is all-knowing enables him to save a person’s life until after the correct decision has been made. Conversely, there are times when a person makes the choice to enter heaven’s graces early on and he allows them to die before choosing to go to hell later on in life.
Such talk will no doubt rekindle the flame of the debate about predestination that has been going on for centuries. Such an argument is truly a testament to the unfathomable nature of the subject matter. Succinctly put, the fact that God knows our choices beforehand does not make them predetermined. Whatever your choices are in life, it is important to know that nothing is unforgivable; insofar as the remorse expressed before God the father is genuine before death. For those who will ultimately choose their own pride over eternal life, know that your friends and relatives who went to heaven will have their memories of you erased. After all, the citizens of heaven are entitled to an eternity that is free of regrets.
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