Grace and peace be unto you.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
The story is told that the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who was caught in adultery. They told him that she was caught in the act of adultery, then enquired if she should be stoned according to the Mosaic Law. Jesus said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” The accusers walked away one by one. Afterwards, Jesus told the woman that he did not condemn her, and she should go and sin no more (John 8-11).
When we sin and people try to condemn or ostracize us, we must not feel intimidated, unworthy, or unloved. It behooves us to remember that they have sinned in some regards and as such, are not in a position to criticize anyone. We may not know their sin, but the Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Furthermore, the apostle Matthew wrote, “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?” (Matthew 7:3). In such instances, we could consider encouraging our accusers to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.
As long as we live in this earthly body, we will sin, whether in thoughts or deeds. Nonetheless, Scripture says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”(1 John 1:9). God expects us to genuinely repent of our sins, accept his forgiveness, and continue working towards the fulfillment of our purpose. He is displeased when we harbor guilt for our sins or become stagnant after he has forgiven us, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36).
Perhaps you have considered this question, “What if I have difficulty accepting God’s forgiveness?”
The following suggestions can help:
1. Talk to God; share your thoughts and feelings with him. Listen for his response.
2. Ask him to help you accept his forgiveness.
3. Go on a fast.
4. Meditate on 1 John 1:9 and the following Scriptures daily.
- “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16).
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Heavenly Father, please help us to repent of our sins, accept your forgiveness, and accomplish our purpose. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.