When I was a teenager, I made a lot of mistakes. At times I was disappointed and embarrassed about my choices. I really did not want to have them held over my head, but often they were.
Have you ever wished you had a second chance? Have you ever had someone take pleasure in reminding you of the mistakes of your past – particularly the most embarrassing ones?
We’ve talked about hurt, consequences, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Today, we are going to talk about the restart.
A person can be restarted.
They can have a second chance. They can grow spiritually in the process. Their relationships can be better than ever. They can make that fall a part of their testimony and use their stumble to bring others to the Lord.
Family, friends, and other Christians can make a big difference in the success of a restart. Please note that when I talk about a restart, I do not mean that you are to enable a person, and also note there’s no guarantee of success. A person can still fall yet again.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13
When a person attempts a fresh start, they must be held accountable. While they don’t need the past flung in the face, they need to agree to play by new rules. Those rules are put in place with their acknowledgment and consent. Often, they may even suggest the rules themselves. The purpose of the agreement is to help them to avoid putting themselves in a situation where they would have to face the temptation again. The temptation that tripped them up the first time must be removed.
Often, it will be up to them to police themselves. The most important thing is that they have a plan that will enable them to succeed.
Will they succeed? An accountability partner can help with that. This partner can pray with them, and ask them how they are doing from time to time. They can offer suggestions to help them avoid putting themselves back into a situation where they would have to face temptation. They can also look for red flags. They can be nosy if needed, but this needs to be an upfront agreement. The accountability partner must be one that can be trusted. There also must be an agreement of what to do if things do not work out. The consequences must be known upfront.
Today’s challenge is to ask yourself if there is anyone that you know that could use a restart. It’s a time of encouragement and spiritual growth. Be sure to bathe it in prayer and forgiveness. Provide a forward focus. Don’t hold their past over their head. Instead, paint a path of success. Listen more than you speak. Sometimes, you will see opportunities to help the person be successful, but you’ll have to listen to see them.