The 5 Regrets of the Dying: Part 3

We’ve spent the last few days talking about the regrets that haunt people in their last days.

If you’re just joining us, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The third great regret of the dying: I wish I had appreciated things more.

Philippians 4:4-6 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thes 5:18 says, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

One of the greatest sources of joy and peace in this life is an attitude of gratitude.

Conversely, the fastest way to rob yourself of joy is to focus on your lack rather than your abundance.

People at the end of their life look back and it all becomes clear.

They should have been filled with joy to have a precious little one asking to play.  Instead, it was a bother and a distraction from what was really important.

They should have been so pleased with that little house that was filled with love.  Instead, they needed a bigger one, and in its pursuit killed the love that was there.

They should have been so grateful to be financially unburdened.  Instead, they envied their neighbor and in response built a prison of debts.

Maybe more than any of that was all the little things that should have brought joy and thankfulness but simply went unnoticed.

It’s said that you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.

Sunshine on your face.

Great music on your stereo.

The invigoration that comes from a new idea.

A car that drives.

Air conditioning.

Health.

Liberty.

Loved ones.

Friends.

There’s so much to be thankful for.

Excercise:

Take out a piece of paper and just write things you have to be grateful for.  Don’t think.  Don’t filter.  Just write as fast as you can.

When you can’t think of a single additional reason to give thanks put your pen down and read them.

Read them every day.

Your life will be infinitely richer for it.

Take a moment and leave a comment below.  What are your thoughts?  What are you thankful for?  Where do you need to have more gratitude?

Read Part 4

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Benny Heart

    I’m thankful for my relationship with God an the visions He gives me for my life. I’m grateful that I’ve been transformed through my transgressions and that I have people in my life that love me

  • I’m grateful for my parents and siblings. I haven’t fully appreciated having a job at times.

    • I’m glad to hear you say you’re thankful for your parents. That’s becoming more rare in this generation. Most of us significantly undervalue the gift that our parents have been in our lives.

  • Emory Walford

    I am so thankful for my wife and my kids and yet I have not appreciated them as much as I want to! Thanks for this Scott I’m realizing so much through this.

  • Jonathan Hill

    I’m thankful for life. The option to have freedom. For people like you who remind us of this freedom. For genuine love and genuine joy. Thankful for the people who are behind the scenes making everything we do on a daily basis possible.

  • Rusty Gackle

    I struggle with this very much. Not because I am not greatful for what I have. That is the very opposite, I’ve been very blessed by God. He has given me much, from family, wonderful wife, great friends, & much more. But I struggle with wanting to do huge things, grow, dream, CHANGE THE WORLD along with being present in today. How do I “live for today but plan for tomorrow” as the saying goes? Maybe this sounds silly or is simple for others but it is a real burden on me. I strive to be bigger, better, faster and not to beat myself up because I’m not as far or as refined as I want/should be. So I ask a real question, how do I feel like I’m not settling while being thankful for what I have and have earned? What I mean by that is living in the present or today (being thankful, enjoying), all the while planning and working for the generations forward of my families future?

    • This is a good question. An attitude of gratitude is something that can permeate everything we do. My desire to do big things and be a steward of what I have been given is driven by my gratitude. It’s as if I’m living out the prayer, “Thank you Lord for your overwhelming goodness, mercy, and blessing. I’m going to thank you with my whole life!” Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.” In other words, in light of the massive sacrifice made for us on the cross, and the riches of his mercy, and the eternal rewards we have to look forward to, we thank Him with our lives.

      Let your gratitude spur you! And have appreciation for everything along the journey.

      Does that help?