Need a Do Over?

Do you recall when you were a child and playing a game and something happened to cause you to perform badly? Maybe a leaf blew across your field of vision or a small child was yelling on the swing set and distracted you. So, when you tried to kick the ball, you missed because you were not paying attention. That’s when you would call out loudly that you needed a “do over.” Usually, because you were playing a game meant to be fun and with friends, they would grant your wish and you would get to do the whole thing again, this time with better results.

Sometimes, in our Christian walk, we need a “do over.” We need to press into God and appeal to His mercy and grace, deeply and sincerely repentant for messing up and asking for the grace to do that thing you messed up again. Maybe it was the opportunity to speak to someone about the Lord and you blew it. Maybe it was the chance to be kind to someone in need and you ignored the whisper of the Holy Spirit to reach out. Whatever you missed out on, God is the God of second chances. He is the God of the “do over” , not because we deserve it but because of His great love and mercy for us. He shows us grace, His unmerited favor, and allows us to try again, and again, and again. We just have to be willing to admit that we have blown our chance, missed an opportunity or sinned once again when we really didn’t want to. Distracted by the things of this world, it’s hard sometimes to stay focused on the important things that God has for us to do and the changes He wants to make in us so that we become more like Him. But when we straggle behind or go in the wrong direction, God is right there, waiting for us to request a “do over” so that He can lead us back on the path He wants us to be on.

Just when we think that God cannot possibly still love us and continue to forgive us, He does. We confess, repent and He is always faithful to His promise to forgive. Even better, He grants us a “do over” so we may get the chance to see that person again and tell them about Jesus or do participate in a ministry that we neglected previously. Whatever it is, God is in the business of providing grace to His children. It’s one of the ways He instructs us and expects us to extend that same grace, mercy and forgiveness to others.

I don’t ever want to get to the point where I cannot receive instruction from God and His Word. I have had a lot of “do overs” in my lifetime, but none has been as important as the ones when I know for sure that I have disappointed God and I need to go back and try again. I have learned a lot from those experiences, mostly about being more aware and striving to do things right the first time. Nevertheless, because I am still a disciple in training, I still need His grace and mercy every day. I need a “do over” more frequently than I would like, and I am always thankful that God graciously provides those opportunities for me.

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