I’ve failed. Again. Can you relate?
And in an area that I thought I had overcome. But it seems that some weeds of bitterness remain, even now. Thoughts I hadn’t completely gotten rid of. They popped up in some casual conversation with a friend. I was horrified and disappointed in myself.
But I’ve got to be careful to not let my thoughts and feelings run riot, or move away from truth.When I fail, I've got to be careful to not let my thoughts and feelings run riot, or move away from truth. Click To Tweet
I’m tempted to think:
- All my former progress is for nothing. This just simply isn’t true! These are weeds, not thick tree trunks! So they must be dealt with (confessed to the Lord and repented of), but I must not make them bigger than they are. Jesus is still working on making me into His image (Philippians 1:6). There is still hope.
- My testimony is ruined. Again, not true. If my credibility is based on perfection, then who of us could ever be credible? Not one of us is perfect and we must remember that we all fail; we’re all sinners saved by grace. We are all capable of sin, but praise God, we have a Savior who has provided forgiveness!
- I should know better. Jesus must get tired of forgiving me for the same sin over and over! Once again, I must remember what is true and not fall prey to the enemy’s whispers of shame. I have confessed this sin to the Lord and asked for forgiveness. I must believe that I am now forgiven. He sees me as righteous! The slate is wiped clean.
I John 1:9 says, “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Does this verse become untrue with repetition?
Remember 4 things if you are tempted to think this way:
1. Jesus forgives us because He is faithful. We are often unfaithful, but He never is. He is God and cannot lie or fail us or act outside of His character. Our forgiveness is a promise, and God keeps His promises!
Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
2. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross forgave all the sin you’ve ever committed or will commit, past, present and future. His atonement is completely sufficient. We shouldn’t regard this lightly (Romans 6:1-2), but it means that there is forgiveness for even the same sin that we keep repeating. He promises in Psalm 103 to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Guilt and shame are the weapons of our enemy and we must fight them!
3. His love for us is unfailing. His love never fails or runs out. It’s not dependent on how good our behavior is. While we were still sinners and His enemies, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus tells us He has compassion on us and remembers that He made us out of dust (Psalm 103:13-14). He is not a harsh, unforgiving father, but woos us to repentance with His kindness (Romans 2:4).
And lastly, remember to:
4. Focus on being thankful for the forgiveness we’ve received, rather than the discouraging thoughts of your sin. Turn this incident into an offering of praise and thank Him for the abundant mercy and kindness He so tenderly gives us.
Psalm 103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Lord, thank you for your merciful forgiveness that you give to me! Thank you for your love, your patience, and your kindness that brings me to repentance. May I grow in love and righteousness and remember to saturate my mind in Your truth!