At last Sunday’s GrammyAwards, one of the world’s most popular singers stopped mid-song and asked for a do over. Adele, who won numerous awards throughout the night, sang a tribute song for a fellow musician and things did not go the way they were supposed to. She did not stomp off stage in a rage. She did not blame the orchestra. She did not point a finger toward the technical crew. She simply owned up to the fact that she botched the song and asked if she could start over again. And there was something about what she did that was refreshing and powerful.
How often have wished I could stop and ask for a do over? It could have been that conversation with my wife where I said something that I did not mean. There is the time that I messed up on the presentation at work. And I’ll never forget the time that I wish I could have asked the police officer if I could start my drive home over after he pulled me over for speeding. There are many times I wish I could declare a do over.
As ministry leaders, you’ll walk with young adults during times when they wish they could have a do over.
I’m thankful for the promise found in I John: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
Here are three ways we can help young adults looking for a do over:
1. Encourage them to own up to their mistake.
We live in a culture that always wants to blame someone else for a mistake or situation gone wrong. However, the reality is most often a bad decision has been made and someone simply needs to own up to the mistake. Will it be painful? Probably so. Will it cause some pain along the way? Most likely. In the long run, grace is usually given much quicker to a person who owns up to a mistake.
The incredible thing about a relationship with Jesus is that because of the cross, I’m given a do over every day. I agree with Christ that there is sin in my life and claim the forgiveness that He gives me, which results in a new opportunity to be the man God has made me to be.
There is so much beauty in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”
2. Don’t look back.
When young adults in your group have made a mistake and are seeking a do over, don’t allow them to live in the misery of past mistakes. Instead, point them to the hope of being a fully devoted disciple of Jesus. The enemy wants us to live in the past and dwell on mistakes that can bring us down to a miserable level. However hope is found when we look toward the future Jesus has for us.
3. Allow them to see you ask for a do over.
It’s important for young adults to see people that they trust living authentic lives. It may mean that you admit the mistakes you have made and seek the forgiveness they can extend your way. The opportunity for you to become “very real” to them will go further than any teaching session that you prepared weeks for.
Give the young adults in your group the opportunity to live out Ephesians 4:32: “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
There are times when a do over is exactly what we need.
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.