I love do-overs.
If I don’t like what I’m writing, I hit the delete key and “do-over.”
If my hair is having a bad day, my brush winds its way through and creates a “do-over.”
If my chicken dish doesn’t turn out…well, I just throw that out.
Wouldn’t it be freeing if we could “do-over” or throw out some of life’s moments that make us cringe? Stupid decisions we made. Hurtful comments we shared. Hot pants worn. “What on earth were you thinking, girl?”
None of us are immune to creating silly, awkward, or embarrassing moments.
There are some “do-over requested” moments, though, that are a bigger deal. Big-time, life-changing events happened. They weren’t just silly or awkward or embarrassing. They were sinful.
Lies, deceitfulness, anger, gossip … just a few of the things most of us would have on our lists, right? Unfortunately, we’d each add behaviors and choices that get even uglier.
Some of those moments can get us stuck in guilt, remorse, self-pity. We can’t let go of decisions that threw our life off course for a bit. Those memories still have control of our emotions, our thoughts, and our choices. Our inability to accept God’s forgiveness, to forgive ourselves, or forgive others, steals peace from our present and has the power to change the course of our future.
We can’t pretend those moments never happened. But we don’t have to let those growing-up or out-of-faith choices define us or control us if we’ve made peace with them and with those involved. We can make amends, stop beating ourselves up, and learn from those mistakes. And then live differently. Live better.
There’s forgiveness for those sins wrapped up in bad choices, you know. Here’s how David describes it in Psalm 32 (MSG) …
“Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be – you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean.
Count yourself lucky – God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him.
When I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans. The pressure never let up; all the juices of my life dried up.
Then I let it all out; I said, ‘I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.’
Suddenly the pressure was gone – my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.”
Here are two prayers for a do-over — (God hears you, you know!):
“God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.” (Psalm 51:10 MSG)
(I LOVE those words!)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
And here’s a reminder about those not-so-great moments …
You can choose how you want your story to read.
Tough moments in the past? Then write a story about redemption. About forgiveness. About mercy. YOU are the author. You hold the pen in your hand. Start a new chapter. Write the story you want to live, and the story you want others to remember.
What do you want removed from your slate?
Ask God for His eraser…His mercy, forgiveness, grace, and unconditional love.
Then start a new chapter without the baggage.
Make a fresh start.
Shape a Genesis week from the chaos of your life.