Last year, I was arrested for financial fraud at my company, and after my trial, was fined and put on probation. Everyone in our town knows about it, and I'm so embarrassed I hate to go out in public. I've lived here all my life, but would it be better to move somewhere else and try to start over? — T.L.
One reason I wanted to reprint your letter is because I hope it will warn others who may be tempted to do what you did. No doubt you thought you could get by with it—but you didn't, and if you could live your life over again, I'm sure you'd act far differently. The Bible's warning is true: "You may be sure that your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23).
What should you do now? The first step you need to take is to seek God's forgiveness for what you've done. If you've never opened your heart to Jesus Christ, make your commitment to Him today. Then thank Him that all your sins are forgiven, because Christ took upon Himself the punishment you deserve. The Bible says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).
Then seek the forgiveness of those you hurt. This won't be easy, and not everyone may forgive you—but they still need to know you're sorry for what you did, and you've learned from your wrongdoing. It won't solve all your problems, but without it you have little hope of regaining respect in your community.
Finally, seek God's will about your future. Moving somewhere else may seem like an easy solution but it has its own problems and isn't necessarily the best course. You can't change the past, but with Christ in your heart the future can be different.