Say Goodbye To Regret: Discovering The Secret To A Blessed Life, by Bob Santos
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookCrash. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Although this is not a perfect book, this is a very good one. Perhaps I am a bit biased because the author and I both come from broken families and have a background in rural Western Pennsylvania, but this is a case where the author clearly seemed to speak my language throughout much of the book. The author comments how he started to write a more practical book on how to avoid regrets  but thought that the book would be so long that no one would bother to read it. The one thing about this book that is missing is the practical advice on how to overcome regret. The author puts a great deal of attention in misguided attitudes towards the law and in the experience of sin through our fallen nature that leads us to act in ways that we reject, and comments on the importance of wisdom so that good intentions become good results, but the proper view of God’s law as being written in our hearts and minds and serving as a target to aim at is strangely missing here.
What kind of contents, then, does the author include as he seeks to instruct and inspire the reader on how to live a blessed life? The author make his points by pointing to some of the causes of regret in our ignorance, in our difficulties with forgiving ourselves for those sins and blunders of ours that God has forgiven, the lack of skill with which we sometimes live, folly, the brokenness of many of our lives, and the illusions of this world. The author draws a great deal of conclusions from his own life and writes very personally about his background and where he comes from. In his approach to regret the author appears to have chosen an approach of great difficulty but not one whose difficulty the author appears to fully see, namely that the author recognizes the brokenness that results from sin in his own life and the life of others, but tends to view God’s law with the negative viewpoint that springs from much of antinomian Protestant thought. The combination of a clear-sighted recognition of the origins of sin and folly and an inability or unwillingness to distinguish between the right and wrong uses of God’s laws makes this book incomplete but deeply fascinating to read. One can see that the author is almost where he needs to be in terms of his mindset.
So, does this book help the reader to say goodbye to regret? Yes, but the book is not a detailed road map, but rather a guidebook that gives historical context. This book is extremely useful in giving the reader insight into why we feel regret, and what is necessary in our lives–namely wisdom–to live without regrets, but the author deliberately chooses not to give a detailed road map of how to overcome the conditions within our own lives that lead to regret. To be sure, the author speaks a great deal about the grace given to us by God that we should then turn and give that same grace to others and to ourselves. Like all good things, this is far easier to be said than done, but this book spends a great deal of time on grace for the unimpeachable reason that there is no other place we can begin when it comes to God. We cannot approach the throne of God with perfect virtue and character, and so if we are going to able to live without regret we will need His mercy in our lives, for we cannot do it on our own. The author of this book, wisely, keeps that fact in mind throughout, and the reader would be well do to so also.
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