We’ve talked the last few weeks about how to seek forgiveness from our children, from God and even ourselves.


Let’s talk about one more bad habit that will keep you from moving beyond your regret and failure: The what/if game. 

We finished up a three-part series of the three essential people you need to ask forgiveness from. We talked about seeking forgiveness from your child and seeking forgiveness from God and seeking forgiveness from yourself.

The Lord God says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isa. 43:25). God is God; with His omniscience, He can’t truly forget. “Remembers your sins no more” doesn’t mean God forgets; it means He chooses not to remember.

I mentioned this last week, but allow me to go back a bit before I move forward. Every time I read this verse, I remember the classic way Corrie Ten Boom in her book, Tramp for the Lord, explained God’s forgiveness:

“When we confess our sins…God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever. And even though I cannot find a Scripture for it, I believe God then places a sign out there that says NO FISHING ALLOWED.”

Dad, stop fishing. We have to stop dredging up what Christ has forgiven and chosen not to remember. It’s only then that you can move forward.

As part of this idea that we need to “stop fishing”, let me mention one more bad habit that will keep you from moving beyond your regret and failure.

It’s the “What/if” game. It’s not as blatant and obvious as failing to seek forgiveness and forgiving yourself, but it is just as debilitating.

You play the “What/if” game every time you replay some incident in your child’s life and ask, “What if I had done such and such instead?”

The “What/if” game is not tied to wrong actions on your part—getting inappropriately angry with your son, letting alcohol control how you talk to the family or failure to keep your word. The “What/if” game is tied to your child’s wr