Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Sorry... Again”

Categories: CONQUERING SIN, GOD, RELATIONSHIPS
     I am nineteen and would call myself a faithful christian for a couple years now. I am fearful of judgment, though, because I still occasionally sin in ways that I repented of and asked God for forgiveness.  As I first grew, I tried stomping out sin in my life.  I have, by the power of God, overcome a lot of ensnaring sin.  I know this is how it's supposed to be, and one doesn't become perfect overnight, but I still stumble in ways that will always be my weaknesses.  I don’t feel that Christ's blood doesn't have the power of forgiveness or that God isn't faithful to forgive, but instead I feel that I've already asked for forgiveness too many times after baptism and repentance.

Sincerely,
Struggling

Dear Struggling,

1 Jn 1:9 says that God is prepared to forgive us if we confess our sins, and Matt 18:22 says that God will accept our honest repentance an infinite amount of times.  God is ready and willing to forgive (Ps 86:5).  Like all things, God is better at forgiveness than we are.  Many people (us here at AYP included!) hold on to the guilt and shame of sin far too keenly.  God tells us that there are several things to remember:

  1. Even if your heart condemns you, God keeps His promises.  On the Judgment Day, we will be judged by God’s standards, not whether or not we feel worthy (1 Jn 3:20), so even if you don’t feel forgiven, that doesn’t mean you aren’t.
  2. We can reassure our own hearts that we have been forgiven when we study and live by the truth of the Bible (1 Jn 3:18-20).  The more we immerse ourselves in God’s teachings, the quicker we begin to realize that forgiveness isn’t about being worthy… but about having faith in the mercy of God.

All in all, self-forgiveness takes time… just like all areas of growth.