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13 May - No Regrets

We all want to get it right 100% of the time, and as a result can fear making mistakes, failing and being disappointed.

But a wonderful gift to give ourselves is the freedom to make mistakes. Without questioning, pushing against the status quo or doing something different, even if that means taking a risk, many of the world's great inventions, discoveries, works of art, explorations and breakthroughs would never have been realised or achieved.

To live without regrets, we must learn to overcome the fear of making a mistake. All those well-known explorers, artists and forerunners faced failure, disappointment, and the pain of perhaps making a mistake. But they chose to risk it because the regret of not trying, to them, was worse than the regret of making a mistake or failing.

Life is always going to have "what if's?" "What if I try and I fail?" "If I step out and "fall flat on my face", "If I make my big move and get rejected? "If I pray and nothing seems to happen?" Yes, all those things are valid concerns. The Bible says that when we decide, we first need to count the cost: "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? (Luke 14:28)

There is wisdom in counting the cost and evaluating what our choices will mean. There is a cost to following Jesus (I believe, however, that the benefits far outweigh any cost), there is a cost to walking up to someone and telling them how you feel, and there is a risk to every new venture we undertake, there is a cost to every decision and choice we make.

But God doesn't want us stuck, limited by our fear of regret. He will give us wisdom and clarity if we ask.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you ". (James 1:5)

He will guide and help us; if we make a mistake and miss it, He promises to be there to prevent us from falling.

"To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy ". (Jude 1:24)

The LORD supports everyone who falls and raises up those who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:14)

Look at Peter, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, who made the most regretful decision anyone could have made when he denied even knowing Jesus three times, despite Jesus predicting he would. Here was what had happened after the third denial, where he called curses down upon himself:

At that moment, the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord's words flashed through Peter's mind: "Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me." And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly". ( Luke 22:61-62)

Can you imagine the moment? You just spent three years walking with and learning with Jesus, who you believe to be the Son of God. He specifically warned you that you would deny Him despite your bravado. Then He stares right at you as His prediction comes true. Over the next few days, you watch as He is killed in one of the most gruesome manners ever concocted and then buried. You never got a chance to say you were sorry. The last time He saw you was when you denied knowing Him. If that is not a recipe for regret, I do not know what is. Yet how long did Jesus allow Peter to wallow in the "pit of despond"? Now very long at all according to Scripture.

"Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died." (Mark 16: 7)

Whose words are these? The angel that greeted the women who went to the tomb on Resurrection Sunday! The first order of business? Tell the disciples that He has risen and is going ahead of you into Galilee! And don't forget to include Peter! God hasn't forgotten him! Make sure you tell Peter! Jesus didn't 't want any regret setting in. In one moment, Peter's regret is suddenly replaced with expectancy, and he gains greater knowledge, understanding, compassion, and, hopefully, character. Peter learnt from his mistakes, and his regret was replaced with expectancy for his future, purpose, and a calling from Jesus.

Don't let a fear of making a mistake hold you back, nor allow regrets from past failings to steal from your future. Learn from everything, count the cost before stepping forward, listen and ask for God's wisdom and live free from regret!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving me the wisdom to make wise choices and space to learn and grow. Please help me to live free from a fear of making mistakes and give me the courage to be all you have made me be. I want to live – with no regrets! In Jesus' name. Amen

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