Living on Purpose: We only have one chance to make things right
Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2023
By Billy Holland
The other day, I spoke with a person I’ve known most of my life, and he asked me what would change if I could go back in time and live my life again. You would think this would be a question from someone who has maybe suffered and now contemplates how much better life would have been if different decisions had been made. However, this person has been very blessed with a nice family, decent health, and more wealth than they will ever be able to spend. It’s true that many people are never satisfied, and often, even a great life is not appreciated. Instead of thanking God for all the good things we have, some will spend their lives daydreaming about a life that could have been. The truth is they would still not be satisfied. Jesus is the only person in heaven and earth that can give true peace and contentment, whatever the situation.
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With fantasizing about this, I’ve heard others say the only way they would possibly even consider returning is if they could know what they know now. A good point, as I realize that going back for a do-over without this knowledge would risk making even more mistakes and being worse off than the first time. Even as a young man making foolish choices, I still believe that God was with me and was trying to guide me into the life that He wanted me to live. But what makes us think a second chance would be the charm? We learn and develop from our failures. Often, we do not recognize God’s presence at the moment, but hopefully, we can look back and see that He not only wants to save us spiritually but also physically, mentally, and emotionally. Blessings we enjoy today are a direct result of Him intervening, inspiring, and warning us in times of difficulties.
Most humans who visualize a second chance are only thinking about what would make them more happy instead of how they could cause God to be more pleased with them. I rarely hear individuals say that going back in time would allow them to help others, do more good deeds, or tell more people about Jesus. It’s usually about regretting decisions they wish they could change. These folks might laugh and joke around about this, but their personal agony is real for some. Why are they secretly haunted? Instead of listening to their creator who wants to speak His truth and heal their pain, they are listening to the voice of the great deceiver, the enemy of our souls, and often called the accuser of the brethren. It is a dark, demonic influence that speaks lies and negative information with the intent to make us feel rejected, envious, and depressed. This is why its imperative to realize that God never condemns, mocks, or laughs at our misery. He is always there to forgive, comfort, and encourage us to keep our eyes on His endless love and grace.
When Satan, through the serpent, communicated with Eve, the temptation to embrace evil was introduced, and it has been a continuous flow of twisted and distorted information since that time. This malicious lying presence never stops suggesting and roams the earth seeking someone who will listen. The devil cannot actually make anyone do anything but is considered highly clever when it comes to verbal persuasion. Why else would a person who has every material blessing and pleasure you can think of cry themselves to sleep at night? Instead of being grateful to God for His mercy and praising Him for all the miracles they have received, they choose to dwell on what life would be like if they could go back and choose again. King Solomon was at one time the wealthiest man in the world and was also the most miserable. He said he realized that earthly possessions and pleasures did not bring spiritual joy. In fact, he said the natural world was vanity. What did he mean?
The earth is a temporal realm that passes away and can give us good things for a short while. However, beware of carnality as the lust of the flesh and love for possessions take us further away from God. Galatians 5:26 says, “Let us not desire to be prideful, provoking one another, envying one another.” Next week, we will continue this conversation. Take a peek at Philippians 4:4-8 when you have a minute.
Billy Holland is a Christian minister, author, worship leader, and counselor. Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com.