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Friday, August 14, 2009


Author and friend Billy Coffey posed a What If? question two weekends ago that knocked the wind out of me:

"You are given a chance to return to any previous point in your life and change a decision you made, but you will lose everything that has happened to you since then. Is there a time you would return to?"

His post garnered 30 responses. Not counting one tongue-in-cheek comment (from Katdish—of course), only four people said conclusively that they'd go back and change a decision.

I couldn't decide. My response?

"There are points in life I've always wished I could go back and change, each one a point of sin... Even if it cost me everything I have now, I'd still do them over to take back the pain I've caused others...

"But ... God works all things for good ... in the lives of both me and others. Do I allow His sovereignty to prevail, over even sin? Or do I believe that if He can work sin for good, how much more so might He have worked not-sinning for good?

"Then there's this. Does the pain of those consequences make me more dependent on God, draw me closer to Him? ... Do I love Him more because of the pain?"

A later comment from Angela well captured the idea that we comprehend grace through sin's forgiveness: "My failures and mistakes ... have helped me see how much I need a Savior and how precious God's grace truly is."

Jesus affirmed that love blossoms from the comprehension of forgiveness for sin.

"I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven,
and thus she shows such great love.
But the one who has been forgiven little
loves little." (Luke 7:47, author)

If we compare ourselves to one another, we might weigh our sins as "little." But the standard is Jesus Christ. I assert that we've all sinned much.

Even since I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus—and despite good intentions—in ignorance, I've sinned much. I've hurt others by seeing myself qualified me to judge them though I'm not. I've believed being right is more important than being compassionate. I've chosen to do as I wished contrary to God's will because I didn't bother to seek His will.

The Lord keeps forgiving my great sin. He keeps loving me. He keeps drawing me closer to Himself. Such grace and love compels my own love of Him with a consuming depth of passion I have for nothing else.

I've often defined that passion gives itself to its object so completely that it does not draw back, not even at the point of pain. My aversion is to causing pain, not to experiencing it for love's sake. Though not yet perfected, this is my passion for God.

Back to the original question. What if going back in time to a point of regret and sin would reduce the pain I've caused myself, others and God—and therefore reduce my comprehension of grace and resulting love and passion for God?

I cannot willingly choose sin, not even at the cost of love and passion's flame.

Praise the Lord, He does not allow retroactive decisions. I've no choice but to burn for Him.

Feedback appreciated! Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I was so ready to say yes! and I know the moment too, until you pointed out so well I would never have had the experience of falling so far, for Him to catch me, resuscitate me, and give me a ferverent desire to cleave until Him forever. Thank you Ann for pointing this out. I can stop kicking myself over my past decisions now.

  2. Hey! I really did regret eating that chocolate cake. And the cookie dough this morning for that matter...

  3. Denise, I can do no less.

    T. Anne, I'll take your words to heart: "I can stop kicking myself over my past decisions now."

    Katdish, I love that chocolate cake & cookie dough diet you're on that necessitates purchase of new jeans. You are truly blessed of the Lord!

  4. We are all commiters and victims of sin which allows us to see the wonderful grace that God has gifted. Would I choose to change those sins that I have committed that hurt others - it if meant they would find Christ. Would I choose to change those sins done against me - no. It is through those events that I have gained heart, head and spiritual knowledge. Besides, God forgave it all already, why should I carry around the weight of that knoweldge or pain when I can turn it all over to Him.


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