I’m Not Who I Was…Regret and Forgiveness
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Do You Have Regrets?
Have you ever found you have regrets that seem to continually haunt you? In my experience these regrets can be anything from something seemingly small all the way up to bigger things. Along with that, I’ve found it’s harder for me to find the strength to ask for forgiveness for some of these regrets than others. I’m not talking about asking the Lord for forgiveness; that’s something I’ve practiced enough times that I’ve got it down pretty well. I’m talking about asking another person for forgiveness.
Brandon Heath’s song “I’m Not Who I Was” speaks to me every single time I hear it. This song so perfectly illustrates a letter that I’ve written over and over in my mind but never on paper. Why is it that I cannot seem to write this letter and send it to the people from whom I need to ask forgiveness? The fears that creep in are Satan’s stronghold in this situation.
“What if they don’t forgive me?”
“What if they don’t care or don’t even remember?”
“What if they never respond? Will I ever find closure?”
I’m Not Who I Was!
How I’ve longed to reach these people and say, “I’m not who I was!” Why is it so important to me to reach out to these people? Why should their opinion of who I was, or who I am now, matter? Matthew 5:23-24 says:
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (NIV)
If I think that my fellow brother or sister in Christ harbors something against me because I have wronged them in some way, how can I come to the altar with a clean heart? I must go to them and ask for forgiveness.
Create in Me…
Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (NIV)
I remember singing that song as a child, “Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. And cast me not away from Your presence, oh Lord, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me, the joy of Thy salvation, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Dealing with Regret by Asking Forgiveness
Knowing these words from the Lord, how can I continue on without asking forgiveness? It would not be right for me to live as though I’ve done no wrong, when I know in my heart that forgiveness needs to be sought. I will have to prayerfully consider my words as I sit down to write this long overdue letter. I’m sure all the familiar anxiety, regret, and bitterness of the situation will creep in as I undertake this task to heal a long-festering wound; even so, I will dwell on the Psalms as I make things right.
Has the Lord placed someone on your heart from whom you need to seek forgiveness?
Have you ever sought forgiveness from someone who was placed on your heart? What was the outcome?
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