Sometimes it can be very difficult to process your own sin. When we sin, there is usually an element of regret. Which is a good thing. If there was none, we should probably be worried about the condition of our hearts.
But usually we focus this regret on the desire to undo the past action. We wish we could go back and change what we’ve done.
But we can’t. It happened, and there’s no changing it. So we have to face an important truth if we don’t want to perpetually live in a state of regret and self-condemnation:
You can’t un-sin. Only re-pent.
Those words you shouldn’t have said…were said.
That guy you shouldn’t have slept with…you slept with.
The compromise that you made at work…you made.
What’s done is done. You can’t un-sin. And while it might be good that you wish you could, ultimately there’s no going backwards.
But there is a way forward. And the way forward is the path of repentance. You can’t un-say what you said, but you can re-pent of what you said. You can’t un-sleep with that guy, but you can re-pent to God for doing it.
As far as the past goes, what happened, happened. But as far as your future goes, with God it could be as if it never happened. You can get a fresh understanding with God. A chance to not let your past mistakes affect your future possibilities.
Un-sinning has an orientation towards the past. Re-pentance, on the other hand, is about the future. It’s dealing with your past disobedience towards God so you can walk towards your future relationship with Him. And that’s what He wants for you.
So if you’re dealing with the regrets and guilt of yesterday, or last month, or even ten years ago, don’t waste any more time playing the scenario over in your head and imagining doing it differently. It’s done.
Embrace the truth that God preempted your past faithlessness in your life with his past faithfulness on the cross. Re-pent of what you’ve done. And move on towards the future God has for you.
This entry was originally published on July 14, 2011.