Imagine with me that the arrival of fall brings an opportunity to hit the reset button. Gather your courage and reach out and push it. What are you choosing to reset in your life? A challenging relationship, some unhealthy choices, a habitual sin, a difficult circumstance? Or perhaps something more along the lines of the hours you sleep, the schedule you keep and the food you eat.
Sometimes we have the privilege of resetting by choice. Yesterday I chose to start counting my Weight Watchers points, hydrating and walking around the block. And sometimes the choice to reset is not ours but happens anyway. Last Monday I had gall bladder surgery which automatically reset my entire week.
And sometimes we are just stuck and feel completely unable to hit or even find the reset button. The path leading to “stuck” looks like something different for you than it does for me. But for some of us it looks like an inability to let go of past sin.
Logically, if we have a saving relationship with Christ, we know that we are forgiven when we ask. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sons, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
But emotionally we can get stranded in the guilt and shame. Rehearsing and dwelling on past sins over and over and over again. Getting stuck in the past instead of moving forward. This was an area I struggled with for a lot of years. I knew in my head that I was truly forgiven for poor choices in my past but my emotions were a different matter.
God in his graciousness led me to Paul’s writing in Philippians 2:13b-14 when I was young in years and young in the faith. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
This is where study notes in our Bible can come in handy. Forgetting in this verse does not mean losing all memory of our sinful past but leaving it behind us knowing that it is done with and settled once and for all because we have confessed our sin and been forgiven.
God supplies the resources we need to press on toward the goal of relationship with Christ and eternal life. When you hit the reset button this fall I hope part of starting again for you includes time in God’s Word on a daily basis, forgiving yourself for past mistakes, and being in community with other believers.
Precious Father – Thank you that you are the God of second chances. Thank you for creating us to be in relationship with you. May we have the courage this fall to hit the reset button on areas of our life that need improvement. And may we seek your will and follow your lead as we strive to make it happen. Amen.