How to stop making choices you regret…

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“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”

ROMANS 7:18-19

Think back to a decision you made recently that didn’t honor God. Maybe in the moment, the choice felt fun, or maybe you didn’t know how to say “no.” Maybe you just felt stuck or tired, and you didn’t see any alternative. We’ve all done things that weigh us down and make us wonder, “Why do I seem to do what I know is wrong?”

The world encourages us to “follow our hearts,” but our feelings can easily trick us into doing things that don’t align with God’s will. But with God’s help, we can break the cycles that cause us to make poor decisions.

What is sin?

When Adam and Eve decided to pursue something “good” apart from God, their decision allowed evil to enter the world. In Scripture, sin is often used to describe actions that miss the target God has asked us to aim for: living a life centered around loving God and others.

While there are universal actions that dishonor God, small acts of disobedience also pull us away from Him. The apostle James wrote that “it is a sin to know what the right thing to do is, and then not do it.”

In other words, if you know what God is asking you to do, yet you still decide to disobey Him—then you’re undermining God’s authority in your life. Sin entices us because it is self-gratifying, but it results in eternal separation from God and others.

How do we change?

While we were still sinners, Jesus came and died for us. His voluntary sacrifice and separation from God led to our reconciliation with Him. None of this is because we deserve it, but because God always desired it. God wants to help us change because He knows we can’t overcome sin on our own.

So if you don’t know Jesus, the first step you can take to overcome sin is to invite Him to transform your life.

But if you already belong to Jesus—He has given you the grace, strength, and forgiveness you need to live a life that honors Him. So when you find yourself making choices you later regret, here are some practical steps you can take:

  1. Keep drawing near to God every day.

  2. The more time you spend with God, the more you will want to honor Him and do His will, and this makes sin less appealing. Over time, God will transform your mind and change the way you think.

    Try spending 15 minutes with God every day this week, and see what happens when you do. Guided Prayer is a great place to start.

  3. Get connected to community.

  4. We weren’t created to go through life alone—we were made to build each other up. The people who surround you will influence the choices you make. Consider asking some people you know and look up to—whether online or in person—to draw near to God with you.

    Try starting a Plan with Friends.

  5. Ask God to search your heart.

  6. We can only change when we allow God to change us. Consider saving the following Prayer in your YouVersion app, and each day, ask God to transform you:

God,

I don’t want to take part in bad habits or poor decisions that don’t lead to an abundant life. So please search me, and know my heart. Test my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. I want You to renew my mind so that I can know what Your will is, and walk in it. Here I am, Lord. I surrender my heart—I am Yours.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Save Prayer

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What can God do through you?

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How has God used YouVersion to encourage and challenge you?

Recently, we saw people in over 89,000 cities around the world engage with more than 109 million Bible chapters—in just one day.

Think about what that means.

On any given day, millions of people are seeking God, all over the world: people in your neighborhood, in developing countries, and in places where physical Bibles might not be as readily available.

Just imagine how God is changing millions of lives, and then imagine how the world might change if that number doubled … or even tripled.

This is only the beginning.

Numbers like that are only possible because God is actively working through the YouVersion Community, and we know He’s not finished.

God is doing something—you can be a part of it.

When you contribute financially to YouVersion, you are supporting a Community that God is using to transform the world and make disciples.

Don’t miss out on this movement.

When we trust God with our money, we get to watch Him use it to do infinitely more than we could ask, think, or imagine. Let’s help build His Church by investing in His Kingdom.

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Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

EPHESIANS 3:20-21

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Conversation starters with God

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Not sure what to pray for?

Talking to God doesn’t always feel easy, but if we want to know God more, then we need to know how to talk humbly and honestly with Him.

Here are three things that may encourage you as you draw near to God through prayer. Pick one or two points that stand out to you, and use them to create a Prayer in YouVersion.

1. Keep it simple.

God isn’t concerned about how eloquent your words sound—He just wants to spend time with you. Some of the best conversations with God happen when you simply share what’s on your mind and then give Him the space to respond.

Try asking:

God, what should I do about … ?

God, what do You think about … ?

God, would You … ?

God, why did this … ?

Create a Prayer

2. Keep it real.

God isn’t going to get mad at you for being honest, so be authentic when you pray. Remember, nothing can separate you from God’s love. So if you’re not sure what to say, tell God that. If you’re frustrated about a situation, say so. He wants you to approach Him with confidence and boldness.

Talk to God about a concern you have right now. Try saying:

I’m struggling with…

I need help with…

I don’t understand why…

I’m frustrated because…

Create a Prayer

3. Keep showing up.

Praying might feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. This week, continue to make prayer a habit by having at least a 5 minute conversation with God every day.

Here are some conversation starters:

I’m hoping for…

I’m thankful for…

I’m excited because…

Today, I noticed…

Create a Prayer

Looking for more ways to go deeper with God?
Try Guided Prayer when you want to pray, but you don’t know what to say.

This is how YouVersion is serving the Church

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YouVersion and your local church. Better together.

From its very beginning, the church has been the gathering of the followers of Jesus, meeting to grow in faith, to care for one another, and to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives.

And, like so many people around the world, you may have shifted to gathering together at church online during the pandemic. But we believe that at its core, the Church isn’t a building … it’s the people.

Incredibly, last year, more than 40,000 new churches signed up for Church Online Platform, a free YouVersion product designed for any church to host their own engaging services online.

But we’re not stopping there. We’re expanding our product focus to dream about the future of church engagement, and how to better connect you—the members of the YouVersion Community—with your local church community as together you grow closer to God every day.

Today, we’re excited to tell you about something new.

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We’re excited to offer an all-new website for churches! While additional products are still in development, this new site is a hub for free resources and ideas from YouVersion, all created to partner with your church as you serve your community. If you’re as excited as we are, we invite you to share with your church leaders.

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Built by the Local Church

You may not realize it, but YouVersion was created by a local church in 2007, and remains a ministry of Life.Church to this day. We’re fully invested in the mission of the local church, and we’re driven by a passion to equip ministry leaders with free tools, resources, and training. If this sounds incredible to you, consider joining our team!

BibleProject: New Testament: 1 Thessalonians – 2 Timothy

BibleProject: Read Scripture - New Testament

We want to help you to read through the Bible without getting lost or giving up. This series has a video for every New Testament book of the Bible that outlines its literary design and main ideas, showing you how it fits into the entire biblical story.

1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

1 Timothy

2 Timothy