Beginning Again

Proverbs 4:23–25

INSTANT REPLAYS HAVE BECOME OLD HAT. We now expect them in all televised scenarios. Whether it’s a tennis pro’s impressive backhand or an in-store video camera capturing the sticky-fingered shoplifter or a squad car dashcam chronicling an officer’s every move! These days, we never should worry about missing it the first time around. It’ll be back again and again and, probably, again—splashed across cable news.

It has occurred to me that I’d enjoy (for lack of a better title) delayed replays of some of the more significant times in my life. But these would be different from fixed frames on film. In “delayed replays,” I’m interested more in the possibility of going back and being given another chance—to act more graciously, or respond with more loving, gentle words. Wouldn’t that be great?

Unfortunately, second times around don’t happen. We cannot rerear our children. I cannot repastor my first church. Initial impressions cannot be remade. Cutting remarks cannot be resaid. Scars can’t be completely removed. Tearstains on the delicate fabric of our emotions are, often, permanent. Memories are fixed, not flexible.

Yet there’s no time like the present to start doing things differently. Consider the words of Solomon on this topic:

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

PROVERBS 4:23–25

There’s no sense in allowing the guilt of your past to haunt you long into the future. Make that right with the Lord, and ask forgiveness of anyone you feel you’ve wronged. Then get on with the business of making certain you guard your words and carry yourself in a way that is honoring to the Lord and ushers grace to others.

Today is a memory in the making, a deposit in the bank of time. Make it a good one!

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.