What’s on my heart and in my head this week are do overs. New chances. Proceed. Revive. Re start. Verbs.
I know that New Year’s resolutions are cheesy and unrealistic so I don’t usually participate. I do however, see nothing wrong with using the beginning of the New Year to evaluate life and all that that has entailed over the last year. Celebrate accomplishments, be thankful for blessings, and examine any failures or disappointments more closely. I don’t want to repeat those negatives. Can I do anything to make them right? What’s the lesson to be learned?
With self-evaluation, there is usually regret somewhere along the way. I stumbled across this little jewel from 2 Corinthians while studying and I love it!
“ Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
2 Corinthians 7:10
It’s ok to have regret! The key is to talk to God about it so He can move us away from that place. If we feel that He is disappointed with us, Godly sorrow will come. That sadness will bring repentance leading to salvation.
noun re·pen·tance \ri-ˈpen-təns\
: the action or process of acknowledging regret for having done something wrong
Repentance is a word that is used in churches a lot. It simply means to acknowledge our wrongdoing. That’s it. Just admit it.
Once we feel bad about something we’ve done, (or didn’t do for that matter), have talked to God about it and felt that Godly sorrow that only He can bring, He rescues us from feeling regretful. He rescues us. Saves us.
The second part of that verse says “…worldly sorrow brings death”. Can you believe how much truth is in this little nugget? God decides what is true and what is not. I would never have thought to put it this way but it is accurate. So accurate.
Ever said something you later regretted? Do you need to start eating better and taking care of the body you’ve been given? Has your family been asking you to go to church with them? Are you a student who has been given the privilege of education and your goal isn’t to do your best, but to just pass? Is your family waiting on you to take that road trip out for a visit and you just keep putting it off? Are you supposed to volunteer somewhere or take a paying job you’ve been putting off?
Feeling a little regretful? Sorrowful? Sad? Even bitter?
“…Worldly sorrow brings death”. The world would have you comparing your body to others, leading you straight to Ben and Jerry for comfort…thinking you’re a horrible person for not attending church…questioning that you should probably drop out of school since you’ll never succeed…beating yourself up for not making time for that family visit…etc. etc. etc. Remorse. Shame. Regret. Does this sound like a slow death to you? Absolutely!
Here’s the good news, you get a do over!! Even better, it comes with NO regret!! So don’t take that part with you. Leave it at the door.
Start the process this week of reflecting on this past year. The good and the bad. Take out a piece of paper. Start documenting your triumphs as well as your losses. Make sure that you write down more of the good than the bad.
Now take those losses and begin to pray. Ask the Father if you can do anything to move forward and still make those right. Sometimes what’s done is done. You’ve got to give it to Him and trust that He’ll make something good from it. But, sometimes, you are given the opportunity to make some slight adjustments and take a loss and move it over to the win column.
Let’s start this process. Start writing. Start praying. As you begin to formulate plans for your do overs, jot down practical goals and solutions to get them met.
Write that note of apology…begin the journey to good health…set your alarm for Sunday morning church…put that trip on your calendar. Don’t wait until you feel like it, just do it. Your feelings will catch up later.
Be thankful for the opportunity to try again, that we can trust Him to take care of what we cannot, and that He saves us from the regret that the world would have us carry. Be very thankful. Not everyone gets a chance for a do over.