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Posted: December 31, 2008 5:08 p.m.

God gives do-overs

Back in the olden days (OK, the 70s), we would spend afternoons playing kickball, hide-and-go-seek and Red Rover in each other’s backyards. Occasionally, someone would argue that something was unfair. Heated arguments would reach ear piercing levels until someone would cave in and declare, "OK, it’s a do-over!"

Surrender to this option would satisfy both teams, keep everyone accountable and allow the game to continue. I need to "do over" parts of my own life. Instead of making new resolutions, I’m going to re-examine my attempts at last year’s.

Listen well. Be part of the solution. Celebrate the joy in each day.

I have to admit that I haven’t made as much progress as I could have. Too often, I didn’t give people time to really speak before starting to come up with my own response. Sometimes, when divisive words were said, I remained silent. I even ignored the beauty right in front of my eyes.

I’m left with the option of improving last year’s list or throwing them out and starting all over. As I think about it, my morning devotional directs my choice:

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Col 3: 13 NIV).

With God’s help, I can learn to forgive myself. I can heal the wounds that I’ve caused and try to be a better witness of his love. With our ever merciful God, I can have a "do-over."

Dear Lord, in my desire to do the right thing, I made many mistakes. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Please help me to try again.

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