By: Marci M
Oops. Did it again. I know better – really I do – but I keep making the same mistakes. Sometimes it’s new mistakes. Maybe it’s a trivial annoying matter, with the result being a dented fender, another few pounds gained, or an offended friend. (I didn’t mean to.) Sometimes it’s a mess-up of colossal proportions; the fallout may be life-altering or even life-threatening.
Is there a real life reset button? Or am I stuck forever in this regret and misery? How can I repair the damage I’ve done to myself and others by the mistakes I’ve made?
There is a real life reset button. In fact, I can have a fresh start anytime I want. The church word is “repentance,” but it really means “reset.”
How does the reset button work? For me, it starts with feeling sorry – truly sorry. Not just sorry that I got caught, or sorry it turned out badly, or sorry that other people didn’t do what I wanted, but taking responsibility for my poor choices. No excuses, no blaming, just owning up to my own garbage.
Then I apologize – genuinely apologize – to the other person and to God. I do what I can to repair the fallout. As before, maybe other people made poor choices too, but I’m reaching for my own reset button, not someone else’s. Their reset button is None Of My Business.
Then I give it all to God, and let it go. I leave the past behind. Forgiveness for self and others can be hard to come by, but to forgive is a gift for ME, for my own peace of mind. It’s not letting the other person off the hook at all. It’s just letting them answer to God, not me, for their own stuff.
Forgive the arrogance, but sometimes my reset button involves forgiving God for creating the world and leaving it in our messed-up hands with such potential for senseless tragedy and injustice. When I have the egotism to say such a thing to God when I pray, He gently reminds me that He is God, and I am not. Over time I’ve realized that He knows what He’s doing, more than I could have ever imagined.
I don’t have to pay the price for my mistakes. Jesus already did. He suffered so I don’t have to. If I give my mistakes to Him, He can remove the pain and give me a fresh start. As the video “Because of Him” says, “Because of Him, regret becomes relief. Guilt becomes peace. Despair becomes hope. We can start again and again and again. We have second chances, clean slates, new beginnings. There is no such thing as the end.”
That’s my real life reset button. You can have one too. Your real life reset button is always within reach.