When we look back on our lives, the biggest regrets we’ll ever have are chances never taken.
Life has a way of making us feel, well…”stuck”. Some people feel stuck in a job, stuck in a home, stuck in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, stuck in a bad financial situation, the list could go on. It’s a feeling of being powerless to control the situation we’re in and so we force ourselves to accept our situation as our own, personal “reality”. It’s a condition that can, and often does, lead to depression, anger, anxiety and/or self-loathing…and once you’re locked in, it’s a cycle that is extremely difficult to break. I’m here to tell you, as someone that has spent many years feeling stuck in a powerless situation, that there is hope! I don’t know how many people will ever read this, but if you’re at a similar point in life and this is how you feel, then keep reading!
There are two main reasons that we find ourselves stuck in a miserable existence…fear and complacency. Fear dictates so much of our lives and more often than not, it’s fear of the unknown. Fear takes our power from us and makes us feel totally helpless and out of control. Complacency steals our motivation and tells us that life has nothing better to offer. It’s telling us that there is no point in trying because the situation we’re in is just as bad as the next. So many of us live life this way. What a miserable existence we endure when our thinking is dictated by fear and complacency. When we’re stuck in a career that we hate, wishing our life away by hoping each day passes more quickly than the previous, then dreading going back to work the entire weekend, it’s fear telling you that there’s nothing you can do about it and complacency telling you there’s no use in trying.
If there’s one thing I can say with absolute certainty it’s this…fear and complacency are liars! When we listen to them, we’re believing all the lies they spew. “You can never make a career change.” “You’re not smart enough.” “You don’t have any talents.” “You’ll never be able to pay your bills.” “Just stay in this relationship, everyone has their faults…at least you’re not alone.” “No one loves you anyways.” “It’s not like there’s anything you can do about it.” “Life is hard, so it’s not like it can get any better.” “If you make a change, things could get worse.” “It is what it is, just accept it.” LIES!! It’s this defeatist attitude and mentality that lock us into hopeless situations. Fear and complacency have us believing their lies…but the thing about a lie is, it’s only trying to conceal the truth. The truth is, there’s hope and there is a way to break the chains that fear and complacency have placed around our necks!
You see, as we go through life we are bombarded with choices. We make countless choices everyday. When you get up and drive yourself to that job you hate, you’ve made a choice to do so. When you decide to stay in a mentally or physically abusive relationship, you’ve made a choice to do so. When you tell yourself you’re too old or not smart enough to learn a new skill, you’ve made a choice to do so. When you decide that life is too hard to push back, you’ve made a choice to do so. I don’t say all of this with a cold or callous heart. I say it as a reminder. When we have a choice, we have the power to change! We’re not in a powerless situation when it’s our decision that puts us there, but we have to change our belief system if we ever want to make a positive change. We have to stop believing the lies and start believing that we are capable of doing things beyond our wildest dreams!
Now I’m not a guy that believes life is all rainbows and butterflies. It’s true, life will present us with a lot of situations and circumstances that are out of our control…many of which are bad situations. But there are a few things that you need to know if you’re going to face life with power and success…
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
John 10:10 (KJV)
(Jesus speaking) …I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
James 4:14 (NKJV)
…you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
God doesn’t want you living a complacent life full of fear, doubt, and regret. Jesus came to give us power, so that even when life is hard and we’re in over our heads, we can rise above to live a full life. When we stop listening to the lies and we change what we believe to be true, we can then see that we have the power to make a positive change in our life today…and it starts with a decision.
Life is too short to live each day in fear, dread, or regret. What are you being called to change today? Ask God to help you listen above the lies to hear His voice then remember, you have the control to change your life…and when life is beyond your control, it is never beyond God’s. Choose today to stop existing and start living!