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Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Luke 4:1-13

Jesus was unrelenting in his forward thinking. Consider how much time he spent teaching about the kingdom of God, which was both now and not-yet. What pleasures from God are being poisoned in our lives because we cannot escape a life of constant regret - the "if onlys," "wrong turns," "yes-buts," and "sour notes" of woulda/coulda/shoulda thinking?

We've all done it: enraged or insulted, frightened or confused at someone or some situation, we have stood there sputtering and fuming or have fled in tears and tatters. Then, anywhere from five minutes to five days later, the positively perfect response, the slickest sarcasm or the healing message, floats effortlessly into our heads. There, in the privacy of our cars or offices or homes, we conduct a flawlessly executed, logically organized, stunningly articulate conversation with no one but ourselves to appreciate it.

"I coulda said...," "I shoulda said...," "I woulda said...," can be some of the bitterest phrases ever spoken. Cognitive therapists Arthur Freeman and Rose DeWolf, have examined the power behind these frustrated feelings in their recent book Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda: Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes and Missed Opportunities (New York: Morrow, 1989). Freeman and DeWolf look at two questions: First, what prevents us from doing what we would, could, and should do; secondly,...

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