A wise man once told me "The pain of regret is far worse and longer lasting than the pain of failing knowing you gave it your all." How many times in the past month have you said to yourself, "I sure wish I would have..." or "if only I would have..." One of my personal favorite quotes that I think I can take credit for (if not, I'm sure someone will let me know ;) is "If you wish in one hand and should in the other you get the same thing, nothing." What I mean by that is wishing and wanting are worth nothing. The key ingredient to achievement in life is action. In this life, we are either growing or dying; moving forward or moving backwards; nothing stays the same. And the direction of your life is based on your intentions and your actions. The more closely aligned your intentions are with your actions, the more joy and fulfillment you bring to your life. On the other hand, if your intentions are not aligned with your actions, the result is disappointment. A great example to highlight this is in the area of community service. If you have a true servants heart, you intend on serving your community to make it better and to change the lives of those around you, then the actions you take in serving your community will bear fruit for you by providing joy, fulfillment and a feeling of accomplishment for yourself. If, on the other hand, your intention is to gain recognition or notoriety for your service, you may serve and give of your time and never be recognized to the degree that you feel you should which then leads to frustration and disappointment. Where is your intention? A great exercise in faith and commitment to the Lord is to check your intentions daily. Why am I doing this? When the WHY is big enough, the HOW will take care of itself!
It has been my observation and personal experience that many of us, including myself, are become more and more cautious about reaching out, about sharing our faith and living it and really going for it because of an underlying fear of failure or not being "perfect." For some reason there is a stigma in our Christian culture that because you love Jesus you have to be perfect and any deviation from perfection, then, oh my gosh! Well, as far as I know, there has only been one man who was created perfect and He has given us the ideal to look up to and work towards, but it is just that, an ideal. I've come to the realization, or maybe revelation through the Holy Spirit, that as long as my heart is in the right place, my intentions are in line with my faith and beliefs and I am living my faith then if I fail, praise God...and if I succeed, praise God! I have failed plenty in my 40 years, and I have succeeded plenty and the end result is that Jesus still loves me! And I know that he always will, whether I am abundant or in lack, whether I am single or married, whether I am beautiful or not, whether I am weak or strong, He loves me where I am and for who I am. The fact that I know He loves me because of me, not in spite of me, makes me smile and gives me the confidence to lift my head high knowing that I am walking in the light of His love!
Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, they you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. Job 11: 13-16
Where is your heart today? What are your intentions? Are you committed to serving God as He has called you serve Him...or are you serving you? Life takes on new meaning when these simple questions are answered in truth.