Can You Have A New Start?Of course! You can have a new start every day! Starting over is what saves us from ourselves and Satan. When things go wrong there are many ways to look at it. I’m going to talk about just two.
- You can “own” it, learn from it, understand the ramifications, take corrective action, and move on.
- You can let it “own” you. Then you can dwell on it, let it ruin your day or week or life and be happy in the fact that you will never forget “it’ (if you can call that happy).
What is “it”?“It” can be anything. Perhaps you said or did something you regret, acted in a way that was embarrassing, interrupted your exercising routine, ate more than you should and blew away your diet. Maybe you broke your relationship with your spouse, child or friend. Maybe you committed to pray every day then missed a day. I’m sure you get the idea.
So what do you?First, you need to do your best to think clearly about what happened. Take the emotion out and think through your options and ramifications. Let’s start with an easy one:
You are an avid runner and have decided that you want to run a 1/2 marathon so you start the rigorous training that goes along with that desire. You’ve trained for 2 months and all of a sudden work begins taking more of your time so you don’t practice for a couple of days. Your convinced that you have lost the desire and the break in training will hamper your progress.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO? Start by thinking what caused you to want to run a 1/2 marathon in the first place. Is the short interruption a real reason to give up your dream or is it just a distraction? Most likely, you will decide that it was a distraction and starting over is easy. But you have to do is start training again right away.
Now, let’s go to a more difficult problem:
You and your spouse have an argument, one like you’ve never had before. It’s serious because it has been brewing for a long time. Something happened that bothered both of you but neither of you said anything, you just let it smolder. This was an argument that could break up your relationship!
SO WHAT DO YOU DO? Let’s start at the beginning because that’s where things started to go wrong.
- Whatever happened to start the hard feelings should have been addressed then. That mean’s recognizing the problem, owning it and talking about it. Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away, it just festers and gets bigger and bigger in your own mind. The more you think about it the angrier you can get and the bigger the problem becomes. Ephesians 4 26:28 tells us “In your anger do not sin, Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” So, the first opportunity for starting over that slipped by was when you went to bed and didn’t talk about what was bothering both of you.
- Since that did not happen in this case you now have to address the anger in a different but similar manner. Begin by understanding what happens if you don’t resolve this problem. Again, it won’t go away just because you ignore it. Even worse, the situation looms even larger than before now that you have both put a stake in the sand and have defined your own side. Not a common side but diverse sides. Someone needs to be right and someone needs to be wrong and both of you think the other person has to be wrong. At least that’s what Satan would like you to believe. That takes us back to #1. What are the ramifications of not owning this and resolving it? Do you want to lose your marriage? Do you want to break up your family? Are you so self-centered that you can’t move to the middle with the person you love? Will you be happy without your spouse? Yes, it’s a lot to think about but sometimes we need to know what the end will be before we can figure out the beginning. Once you know where you want to end up it’s easier to understand your path and take the steps toward starting over.
- Starting over starts here. Take corrective action. Now is the time to talk about your concerns and feelings and find your middle ground if there is a middle ground to be had. Most importantly, don’t go to bed before you resolve your problem and can settle your differences. Or, agree on how to start your reconciliation plan at a minimum.
- Ignore the problem
- Don’t talk to anyone about it
- Let your goals slip by
- Live with anger and remorse
- Blame others
- Focus on the worst case scenario because that’s the most likely result