Give Yourself a Second Chance - God Will (Philippians 3:13)
Are you carrying a load of guilt, remorse, or regret around with you every day? Do you ever find yourself thinking “I wish I hadn’t done that,” “I wish had done that differently,” or “I could have done that better”? Do you ever get down on yourself because life hasn’t turned out the way you hoped it would or you haven’t achieved the things you dreamed of achieving? If you answer any of these questions in the affirmative, you are in good company.
A lot of people carry around burdens of regret over past mistakes or remorse over unachieved dreams. If you are one of these people, I encourage you to give yourself a second chance. It is never too late to do better. More importantly, God will always give you a second chance. This is the message in Philippians 3:13 where we read: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
I talk with people all the time who harbor feelings of guilt, remorse, or regret—feelings that not only wear them down but hold them back. I once worked with a woman who refused to enter into a relationship with a man because she had been married once and it hadn’t worked out. She viewed herself as incapable of maintaining a long-term relationship. I know a man who has been in the same position at his job for years because he refuses to accept promotions. Why? After being promoted earlier in his career, he made some bad decisions that hurt his company. He now fears the specter of additional responsibility. These are just two examples of people who need to give themselves a second chance. I could list many more.
People like the ones in these examples could improve their lives immeasurably by heeding the admonition in Philippians 3:13 to put the past behind them and look to the future. If any of this applies to you, my advice is that instead of letting guilt, remorse, or regret hold you back, try placing them at the feet of Christ and look to the future. Give yourself a second chance, and this time get it right. Proverbs 23:7 clearly states you are what you think you are. If you think you are a failure, you are. Stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself and your past and start doing positive things to build a better future.
Ask God to help you identify specific shortcomings that caused you to fall short in the past. Then undertake an organized, systematic regimen of self-improvement. Develop your vision of a better future. Then ask yourself what specific things are preventing you from achieving your vision. Write these inhibitors down. Then, under each inhibitor make a list of what you have to do to overcome it and people who can help you along the way. Having done these things, get started on building a better you. From this point forward commit to this simple principle: Never just pass the time, use it for self-improvement.
Believe me when I say it’s not too late to be that person you have always wanted to be and to achieve the full potential God has given you. Ask God to walk with you every step of the way down the new path you have charted for yourself. When progress down this path becomes difficult, remember that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). For example, I know a man who wrote his first novel at the age of 70. Julia Child didn’t publish her first cookbook until she was 50 years old. Rodney Dangerfield got “no respect” as a comedian until he was 46. Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame didn’t purchase the Golden Arches franchise until he was 52. Finally, Colonel Sanders was 62 when he franchised KFC. No matter what your past looks like, if you will heed the admonition in Philippians 3:13, your life isn’t over; it’s just getting started.
Dr. Goetsch is the author of Veteran’s Lament: Is This the America We Fought For? and Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith, Fidelis Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press.