Rediscovering Redemption

Chronicling the work of Redemption in the lives of Followers and Leaders. Articles, research and meditations from the writings of Dr. Joseph J. Bucci. Get blog updates by following Joe on Twitter @Re_Redemption

Joseph J. Bucci

Wouldn’t It Be Nice: No Regrets?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find the right employee, hire them, and they performed perfectly with no personal problems or careless mistakes? Wouldn’t it be nice if employees would come to work, commit themselves to their jobs faithfully and completely, and the manager would only need to provide resources to support these very productive workers? The data suggests that this is not the case. The data says that as many as 75 percent of employees have engaged in some form of theft, fraud, embezzlement, vandalism, sabotage, and unexcused absenteeism or otherwise harmed their employer (Harper, 1990; Hayes 2008).

We all make mistakes. Sometimes they are confronted harshly, and it could cost us dearly in a job in a promotion. Sometimes these mistakes are seemingly overlooked; but we may not forget them. When a mistake is seemingly overlooked, we may think that we got away with something. But in our hearts we know that we messed up. If that mistake leads to some loss of stature or income, or even a social embarrassment, we can often live with a lot of regret.

In a terrific article on regret avoidance, Rich Karlgaard (2015) describe successful people (he calls them evolving people) worthy of study. It seems that these people have managed something which is more difficult for most. They have managed to lessen their regrets, mitigate the impact of mistakes in their minds, and have learned to grow from their mistakes (Karlgaard, 2015). Karlgaard suggests that people who are successful over the long term learn to make fewer sins and errors. He also states that these successful people have acknowledged their mistakes, and have sought correction (Karlgaard, 2015). That’s really a fundamental principle in many 12-step type of programs (, 2016).

It seems that the confronting of our weakness by the admission of error and need for change has been a common denominator among these types of successful treatment programs since the approach was originated by Alcoholics Anonymous in 1952 (Therapia, 2016). Someone recognizes that what they have done or not done, what is not working, and they express a willingness to change their path going forward.

This effort to address past mistakes was evident in the behaviors of redemptive managers who carefully confronted terminated employees about previous work history when considering rehiring the employee (Bucci, 2011). On a number of occasions, as a result of directive communication from managers in the reinstatement process, workers expressed remorse for past mistakes and a commitment to work harder and regain trust. So these failed employees – terminated from their jobs due to aberrant behavior – without being coerced, acknowledged their faults and sought to reconcile their minds to this new opportunity.

This was not contrived by the managers interviewed in the research on redemptive managerial behaviors, but it was observed as one of the regular practices demonstrated, and seemed to have a similar positive effect of drawing out the importance of this second chance opportunity to the terminated employee. Karlgaard suggests that these mistakes and errors and sin must be acknowledged and addressed, or they will continue to distract and hinder the individual’s growth potential (Karlgaard, 2015).

How much of this is like the gospel message, where several times the writers challenge the reader that we repent of our sin and change our way. The problem with human beings is, as Job’s tormentors stated, that “man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” Job 5:7. We cannot so easily move off this destructive path of aberrant behavior. “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9 NLT.

We continue to fall short and make mistakes according to Romans 3:23. But in Jesus Christ, we have a new beginning (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Christ we can acknowledge our shortcomings and receive forgiveness (1 John 1:9). What’s more, we don’t have to worry about regrets or guilt’s backwash in on us. When we repent and turn from our sin, and when we receive Christ as the Redeemer and replacement for our broken lives, we become new creations; and the old is passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17). I believe that Rich Karlgaard knows this, because I’ve seen him write other things which seem to suggest that he has a greater spiritual insight behind his admonitions.
Karlgaard then goes on to discuss not just an active regret but a passive regret, where we second-guess ourselves forever. I believe that this is a place called Hell. Yes, believe it or not. It seems that when Jesus talks about Hell as a place, “where the worm does not die; and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44) that is an eternity not just of external pain. I believe it’s an eternity of second guessing. This is the internal burrowing worm. Some people will spend eternity second guessing why the never trusted Jesus in the first place. That will be much worse than any regret we carry now.

So why not consider coming to Jesus right now, laying down your regrets and starting again? You have nothing to lose, except your regrets. Won’t that be nice?

** (2016). Emotional sobriety and admitting mistakes. Retrieved online January 26, 2016 from
** Bucci, J. J. (2011). Evidence of redemptive manager behaviors in successfully reinstating terminated workers. Doctoral dissertation, Anderson University. ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 3476151.
** Harper, D. (1990). Spotlight abuse-save profits. Industrial Distribution, 79, 47-51.
** Hayes, R. (2008). Strategies to detect and prevent workplace dishonesty. Alexandria, VA: ASIS Foundation.
** Karlgaard, R. (2015, September 9). Regent avoidance. Forbes Magazine. Article published in the September 28, 2015 issue of Forbes. Article retrieved online January 26, 2016 from
** Therápia (2016). Therapia’s Approach. Therápia Addiction Healing Center. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from

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