In my last entry, I ended with the question: Where do you start in starting over?
I can’t say that I know the exact answers to this question, but this is a good place to start—start with “I’m sorry.”
First things first: you cannot start over if you do not think there’s something wrong with your current set-up. Problems cannot be fixed if you don’t acknowledge that they are problems to begin with. In Christian-speak, the acknowledgment of the wrong that you have committed, whether intentional (because we are sinners) or unintentional (also because we are sinners), is called repentance.
More Than Just Sorry
Repentance isn’t just about acknowledging your mistake. If it were just about that, then the guilt and shame we feel when we are caught doing anything wrong would count as repentance. True repentance, on the other hand, stems from the desire to make things right again with the One you hurt the most.
Maybe this is you. Maybe you don’t know how to start over because you can’t yet bring yourself to say you were wrong (our pride and selfishness does that) and that you need God.
Or maybe you’re scared. Maybe you think it’s too late to go back to God. Maybe you think that He won’t forgive you.
Here’s some news for you—God holds the record as the quickest person to forgive those who confess and repent of their mistakes. He wipes it away as if nothing ever happened.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
God is in the business of making all things new.
I have to admit that I am not the best comforter, but I’ll share with you a verse that’s comforted me every time I feel this way:
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There’s no mistake, regret, bad decision, or sin that would ever separate you from God’s love. His love is constant no matter what.
And while repentance is hard because it means admitting my flaws, that things are beyond my control, and I have caused this mess to happen… here’s what makes it worth it—
God is in the business of making all things new. Repentance is a big step, but on other side of it is God’s love that’s ready to heal, restore, and renew.