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The Role of a Lifetime

Regret Opportunity Servanthood

Source: "Hollywood Miscalculations: 5 Famous Actors and the Roles They Turned Down" by Ransom Riggs

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-05

Scripture: Colosians 3:23

Author: Illustration Exchange


Cary Grant turned down director Robert Broccoli's offer to play James Bond. Regret it? Not so much. He already had a great career and would not have had time to do more than a single film. An ongoing franchise would have been out of the question. Broccoli ended up with Sean Connery who turned the franchise into a veritable brand.

Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in THE MATRIX. Regret it? He says no. “I would have absolutely messed it up." Smith went on to explain, "At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be—whereas Keanu was.” At least he's "smart enough" now to see that.

Michael Madsen turned down the role of Vincent Vega in the highly acclaimed film PULP FICTION. Instead, John Travolta famously took the role and re-launched his career into the stratosphere. Did Michael regret it? Michael "Who?" Nuff said.

Sean Connery, who so fortuitously won the role of Bond, went on to have a glorious career. When offered the role of Gandalf in THE LORD OF THE RINGS he declined. Regret it? You betcha. Not because he needed more notoriety, but because he passed on the perk of 15 percent of the worldwide box office receipts. Had he played the role he would have pocketed as much as $400 million!

Hollywood heartthrob Steve McQueen turned down the role of Sundance in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID because Paul Newman wouldn't give him top billing (if he had, would the movie have been called THE SUNDANCE KID AND BUTCH CASSIDY?). He later turned down the role of Popeye Doyle in THE FRENCH CONNECTION, much to the delight of Gene Hackman who won an Oscar for the role.

Finally, McQueen also turned down Francis Ford Coppola's offer to film APOCALYPSE NOW because he wouldn't budge on his $3 million per movie take on the deal. Martin Sheen was happy to fill the void, to the delight of critics worldwide. Regret it? Who knows. McQueen seemed determined to live his life on his own terms. He left his mark on Hollywood in his short life, but may have gone down as one of the greatest ever he had ventured through these other doors of opportunity.


These great "stars" are not the only ones who have been offered the "role of a lifetime," only to walk away empty handed. Each and every one of us has been offered the role not only of a lifetime, but one that promises to impact eternity itself.

The Director of the Universe wants to make you a star performer in your own sequel to THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. It's the story of how God's love has radically changed your heart. It's a story of how this new transformed you becomes a channel of love and grace by battling the dark forces of need and despair. It's a story that will be viewed with great interest by this world as well as the one to come. Will you accept the role of a lifetime? Or will you live (and die) to regret it?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23).

The Best Time to Plant a Tree

Regret Resolutions Spiritual Growth

Source: various

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-06

Scripture: Hebrews 3:15 ; 2 Corinthians 6:2

Author: Illustration Exchange


It has been said that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is today.


Why waste a single second more regretting what you didn't do in years or days past. Start today! Start learning. Start growing. Start loving. Start living.

"Remember what it says: "Today when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled" (Hebrews 3:15, NLT) "For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2, NLT).

Illustration Exchange

Suffocating Secrets

Regret Confession Ministry

Source: Books & Website by Frank Warren

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2012-08-15

Scripture: Galatians 6:2 ; Mark 4:22

Author: Rod Crowell


In November, 2004, Frank Warren of Maryland began a community art project by handing out 3,000 post cards inviting people to share secrets they had never told anyone. The flood of mail he received containing "extraordinary confessions from ordinary lives" caused him to start a website and publish two books of anonymous responses which today number over 150,000!  A few examples: 

"Sometimes I wish the drugs would take me before loneliness sets in." 

"I've been an atheist for years but sometimes I miss church. Tell your God I said 'Hi.'"

"Grandma died in a nursing home with a stranger caring for her.  We visited and had our photos next to her bed. I don't think it was enough." 

His books POSTSECRET and A LIFETIME OF SECRETS have a sad beauty to them, yet also show how crippling and enslaving our painful pasts or present regrets become without the freedom of confession, forgiveness and Christian fellowship. Thankfully, a few positive responses stand out like stars in the night sky, such as: 

"I used to write my secrets on postcards. They were never posted.  Now I tell them to real people that know and care about me. Thanks, Postsecret, and goodbye." 

"Dear Frank, After I created my postcard, I didn't want to be the person with that secret any longer.  I ripped up my postcard and I decided to start making some changes in my life."


The Church of Jesus Christ lives by the truth that we are to "bear one another's burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Projects like those of Frank Warren are wildly popular only because they fill a genuine need, one best filled by the Body of Christ. We have ALL the spiritual tools necessary to help people come out of the closets of their secrets--the Bible truth about sin and self-deception, honesty, forgiveness and healing; the fellowship of the Church, linking people with similar life stories together; Holy Spirit power to expose and cleanse us from our sin; and a discipleship process holding us accountable to keep living the New Life we have received. 

These are POWERFUL tools which the world absolutely cannot imitate in an effective, sustained way.  But we must USE them by listening, caring and guiding hurting souls to Christ's cross and Christ's church. "Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary"--and our painful secrets may be some of the greatest burdens of all!

Not Enough to Be Sorry

Regret Repentance Confession

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-04-21

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 7:10

Author: Editors, NELSON’S ANNUAL

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As Fast As Breaking Glass

Words (Power of) Relationships Regret

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-29

Scripture: Ephesians 4:29 ; Ephesians 4:4

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Regret We Regret The Most

Regret Procrastination New Year's

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-20

Scripture: Hebrews 3:7

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Craft Your Words Wisely

Words (Power of) Misunderstanding Regret

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-11-18

Scripture: Matthew 12:36

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Benefit of Hindsight

Regret Wisdom Consequences

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-11-11

Scripture: James 1:5

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Sky Cycle X-2

Failure Risk Regret

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2011-10-31

Scripture: Philippians 3:13

Author: Chuck Swindoll

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I Know How You Feel!

Empathy Compassion Disappointment

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2018-04-25

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:4 ; 2 Corinthians 1:6

Author: Jeff Passan

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