“For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Romans 6:7
Freedom is a beautiful thing, especially when sin is the taskmaster from which we are set free. The sins that cut deepest tend to be the offenses we have committed. The pain we’ve caused. The ugly things we’ve said. The brokenness we’ve created. It sticks with you. The more we try to rid ourselves of the memories, the deeper they dig in.
All too often people say “if I had it to do over again, I’d do things exactly the same”. True enough, because you’d still be a sinner! You’d screw things up just as you did the first go round. I’m not trying to be harsh, I simply know how we broken humans are. I certainly know how I am.
So what’s the answer? Should we live with constant regret? Should we guiltily look back upon our lives and lose ourselves in our wishful thinking of “if only I could go back, I wouldn’t . . .”? You could do all these things, but there’s a much better solution than anything you or I could ever come up with on our own: Confession and Absolution.
In Baptism, you died to sin and have been set free from it. The wrongs from the past no longer need trouble you. Confess them to your Lord. Listen as His pure and sweet words of Gospel are spoken back to you: “I forgive you.” No better news has ever been given a grieving, contrite heart than these!
Talk to your pastor or a fellow Christian that you trust. Arrange a time when you can lay down the burdens of whatever sin is particularly troubling you and be set free! There is no need to live in the guilt and regret. Jesus has become your Savior for the express purpose of setting you free from the bonds of your own sins.
“Lord, to You I make confession:
I have sinned and gone astray,
I have multiplied transgression,
Chosen for myself my way.
Led by You to see my errors,
Lord, I tremble at Your terrors.”
Lord, to You I Make Confession (Lutheran Service Book, 608)