"If you haven’t tried it, don’t start it." — Atom Araullo
That was one of the most notable pieces of advice I’ve gotten from our celebrity guest in last night’s event. Towards the end of UPLift 2014, we’ve somehow managed to discuss the topic of smoking. He told us that most of the people he has known to smoke always regretted it and can barely manage to stop. “This is probably the biggest advice I can give you,” he added. We were much better off clueless than regretful.
That got me thinking.
I’ve always been the carpe diem sort. When I feel like doing something, I just do it. No hesitation. No doubts. Just do it. No matter how stupid it may be. Whether it may be planking on the table while watching TV or putting rum in my coffee (it tastes horrible, by the way), I will do it.
I do all of these spontaneous stuff because I hate the idea of WHAT IF. Out of all the emotions in the world, I loathe regret. I don’t do regrets. I’ve always thought that doing something, anything at all, is a thousand times better than not trying at all.
But what if doing nothing can save us from even more regret?
This doesn’t just apply to smoking. This applies to things like drinking, drugs, being in a relationship, and sex among many others. The world will tell us to ‘just do it’. The world will pressure us into doing those things because it’s cool, it’s what’s expected of you, and it’s what everybody does anyway. YOLO, dude!
But as much as we hate to agree, it’s wiser to think before you act.
Sure, you gain “friends”, bragging rights, and experience points because you think life is as petty as a RPG. But out of experience, it’s better to remain ignorant of these things than to try them and have the ghost of temptation haunt you every single day.
Once you start, it’s hard to stop.
It’s like having a demon perch on your shoulder everyday, taunting you to do those things. Once you end up doing them, you end up with a big load of regret and an even bigger load of self-loathing.
IT’S NOT WORTH IT.
I’ve always thought that the idea of “pure and holy” is boring but now, it seems like heaven. Ignorance is bliss. No wonder He wants us to be “pure and holy” because being denied by the world is so much better than being accepted by the world and regretting every single day of it.
But what if you’ve done those things already?
What hope is left for the likes of us?
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come!" — 2 Corinthians 5:17
"…though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…" — Isaiah 1:18
Whatever penance you think you ought to do to pay for all the stupidity you’ve been doing, He has already done. The reason why Jesus came and got Himself crucified is to atone for our sins with His blood as sacrifice. If we could do it on our own, then why would He have come in the first place? Knowing that our righteousness is not based on our own efforts but on the finished work of Christ sets us free.
There is hope.
We can be renewed. We just have to accept what He has done. It’s not about counting the right things you’ve done to account for your wrongs. It’s about admitting that we can’t do it on our own and humbling yourself enough to let go. Let go and let God change you.
It’s hard for us to surrender control. But know this:
It is only when we surrender ourselves fully to His love that we can be victorious.
This is not some religious propaganda. This is not me imposing my belief. This is hope.
Hope for something new.
Hope for something better.
Hope for change.
You’re not alone. You’ve never been alone. Just know that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, you are loved. And it is that same love that will save you.
It is that same love that will transform you.