by Jan Silvious
As I move into those middle-age years, the "might-have-beens" are piling up in my memory: "If I had decided to go to another college, what might have been the effect on my choice of marriage partners?" "If I had chosen a different major, what might I have been doing professionally right now?" "If I had spent more time with my children, might their lives be different?"
Pondering all the "Might-have-beens" is such a futile pastime. When we look back, it should be for the purpose of learning how to improve, how to allow the Lord to take control, how to avoid pitfalls and dangers. It should never be to punish ourselves for opportunities we should have snapped up, or poor decisions that left us with losses, or even spiritual sins.
If we need to confess sin, God has made provision for cleansing. There is a very familiar Scripture passage that reassures me at a time like that: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will
forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
As much as I rely on that verse, I have discovered something new. The word for "cleanse" is in the aorist tense in the Greek. That means a cleansing that begins immediately and had a continuing effect. Our confessions, agreement with God, set in motion a powerful action that leaves us clean and free of the lingering, negative "might-have-beens" that can make life so miserable.
If you are a chronic reviewer of the "might-have-beens of your life, why not purposely review the events and situations that might have been worse. As you view your past history from this perspective, you will be able to see many blessings that have been overlooked. Thank the Lord for His mercy and protection.