August 13, 2020

Shoulda! Woulda! Coulda!

August 13, 2020


Luke 9:62 – Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”


It’s time to deal with the “shoulda’s, woulda’s, and coulda’s!” I make major mistakes, resulting in my being an expert in the “shoulda’s, woulda’s, and coulda’s.”

One temptation we face is focusing on our regrets, failures, disappointments, guilt, and shame. During our prayer time, we say, “God, I shoulda done this. If I woulda only done this instead. If I coulda gone back and changed things. If I coulda somehow made this right.”  I know I do!

While every bit of this may be true, and it is essential to acknowledge this to God, it’s more important to keep our eyes on God’s next step for us instead of looking back.

When driving a car, we focus on where we’re going instead of where we’ve been. Like the woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus knew where she’d been and what she’d done, but he also saw what she could become. 

Yes, we need to present the shoulda’s, woulda’s, and coulda’s to God, but then let go of them, and seek God’s shall’s, will’s, and can’s. While the devil tempts us to focus on the past, Jesus encourages us to keep our eyes on Christ, following him into the future.


  • What are some “shoulda’s, woulda’s, and coulda’s” in your life? List three!
  • With each of these, prayerfully ask God to give you the “shall’s, will’s, and can’s.”


  • Discuss some times in which you wish you had done or said something else. What happened? What were the results?
  • Now, help each other discuss some of the things God might give you for your future. 
  • Help each other to look forward instead of being stuck in the past.


Lord Jesus, thank you for leading me to this time with you. Again, I lift up the blessings you provide me today. (List three or more.) Holy God, please help me with these concerns. (List those concerns on your heart that the Holy Spirit brings to mind.) While I do not know how you will answer my requests, I know you will. Now, Lord, I confess these things that I should have done but didn’t. (List them) Yet, Lord, I know you redeem our past into something better in our future. So, please help me seek your answers, not mine, trusting that our future shall be better than my past. May your Holy Spirit surround me such that your love and grace flow in and through me. In your gracious name, I pray. Amen.