To kids on a playground, the concept of a “do-over” is well known. When they’re playing kickball and the ball gets stuck in a tree, or when they’re playing basketball and the ball sticks between the backboard and the rim, a chorus of “do over” spontaneously erupts.
It’s an unspoken rule that every kid knows.
Some readers who play golf understand this concept in the form of a “mulligan” which is a free shot when the previous shot was poorly played.
Sometimes as adults we wish we could resurrect this kind of a rule in our own lives. When we miss a bill payment, we long to be able to appeal to the utility company for a “do-over.” When we speak a thoughtless word that hurts another person, we wish for the same.
So how can we make the reality of the “do-over” active in our life once again?
Truth be told, this concept usually doesn’t work in our adult lives and relationships without a good deal of work and humility on our part.
We bear the consequences of our mistakes until regret grows and we ask for forgiveness. That’s when grace can intervene, and the person we’ve harmed can forgive.
The same is true in our relationship with God. If we understand that sin has kept us from realizing our potential, we need to do a spiritual 180 and get back on the right path.
In this case, we don’t really achieve the “do-over” ourselves; instead, we receive it from God. We simply turn to God with our confession.
Through the work that Jesus did on the cross we have an opportunity to have a “do-over” in our lives.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the apostle Paul wrote Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! Now that is the ultimate do-over!
Barry Saip is a pastor with Northstar Baptist Church in Quesnel.