Imagine if…Noah said ‘no’ to building the ark, or if he said, ‘This is too crazy and I don’t want to go through the ridicule of my friends or devote my life to building a boat.’
Imagine if…Moses said ‘no’ at the burning bush, or if he said, ‘I just can’t do it–the past hurts are too intense; I am too much of failure, and I am not willing to move again.’
Imagine if…David looked at Goliath and said, ‘Wow, he IS big! Someone else should do something about him. I’m going back to tending sheep.’
Imagine if…Esther told Mordecai that she was comfortable just to be queen and it was just too much to ask her to risk her position.
Imagine if…Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, fell asleep with the other disciples, and instead of praying, ‘Not my will but yours be done,’ He said, ‘God, I am not willing to sacrifice’.
Perhaps you are a Christian who has abandoned all that you may have known to be right, and are now wondering how to get back the joy you once knew and experienced. Maybe you never became a Christian, but are longing to understand the possibilities that exist in Christ. What if you changed today? What if you threw caution to the wind and decided to let Jesus help you make those changes that you have been avoiding? If we wait for the ideal opportunity to change, that day will never come. So why not decide today as the day to change?
Fear Regret, Not Failure
Simply put: Change is hard. The infomercials and self-improvement plans that say change will occur in thirty days may sound simple, but true change is never easy. We can seem changed by our behavior and our appearance, but true change only occurs internally at the heart level (Matthew 23:25-28).
Jesus came to change the world, but He did not attempt to make the path easier than it was. His teachings and those of His apostles and the prophets made it clear, change is difficult (Matthew 19:23, John 6:60, 1 Peter 4:18).
Many of us resolve to remain the same rather than going through the difficulty of change. We choose to make “peace” with life as it is, rather than fighting for the life we had envisioned living. By allowing our dreams to atrophy, we settle and accept mediocrity as a replacement for true serenity. Yet even this false sense of serenity fades with time and turns into regret. These regrets are born from a wisdom that is developed upon realizing that the pain of our past fears is nothing compared to our current disappointments.
If we are going to live a life free of regret, then we are going to need God’s help. We must make the decision to be completely known by God, because without intimacy in our relationship with God, it will be impossible to conquer our fear of failure. This comes only through revealing our sins and weaknesses to God, and it is in this way we will acknowledge our need for Him. When we develop the conviction that God knows us completely, we will then have the confidence to be ourselves, allowing us to walk in the light of full exposure with confidence and the absence of the fear of rejection.
What if you changed today? Imagine yourself making a decision to limit your fear to only fearing future regret. This means banishing the “fear of failure” from your heart, and replacing it with the “fear of regret.” “Fear of regret” is the conviction that the only failure you cannot live with is the failure to take advantage of every opportunity and possibility that comes your way. The paralyzing fear that comes over you when you are faced with potential rejection or ridicule will be banished from your life and replaced with a sense of freedom and he courage to challenge the limits. You could actually change today!