In his new book If, Mark Batterson examines the If’s in life, Trading your if only regrets for God’s what if possibilities.
Having read the cover alone I opened this book expecting to read about if only regrets, the things we’ve wished “if only I hadn’t done/said/bought/gone” but instead he says the greatest regrets are the things you didn’t do but wish you had. Of course as Christian we tend to hold on to the things of the past and practice holiness by subtraction (the don’t do this, don’t do that). The problem with this mindset is that while we might not be doing something wrong we are also not doing something right.
“Righteousness is more than doing nothing wrong-It’s doing something right. It’s not just resisting temptation-it’s going after God ordained opportunities. Holiness by subtraction is playing not to lose. Righteousness is going all in with God. It’s playing to win. It’s living as if the victory has already been won at Calvary’s cross. And it has.” (Pg. 12)
Don’t fixate on the wouldas, couldas, shouldas and strive to make the most of your God given potential.
Potential is God’s gift to us. Making the most of it is our gift back to God. Anything less results in regret. (Pg. 12)
Mark examines Romans 8 verse by verse. The ten ifs in Romans 8 add up to infinite possibilities. (pg 15)
God led Israel out of Egypt in one day but it took years to get the Egypt out of the people of Israel. It takes time for us to leave the past in the past but if you are in Christ, you are no longer defined by what you’ve don’t wrong. You are defined by what Christ has done right. You are a new creation, but sometimes it takes time for your new nature to become second nature. (Pg. 32)
Just like Israel, God forgives us the day we call upon His name, but it takes time to break old habits and create new ones.
We need to define ourselves by what Christ has done right and not hold onto the things we’ve done wrong.
Just like Hester Prynne in the Scarlet Letter and the woman caught in adultery in John 8, we label others and ourselves for the things we’ve done wrong but Christ labels us with F for forgiven. Grace is the catalyst that turns guilt into gratitude. (pg. 31) The moment Christ said “go and sin no more” turned her if only regrets into what if possibilities.
To find out more about If or Mark Batterson checkout the links below.