Monday, January 16, 2012

Questions of Forgiveness

How would you react in this case: Your spouse cheats on you and gets caught. They say they won’t do it again and ask for your forgiveness. You love them so you accept their apology and forgive them; after some work things are back to normal. Sometime later you catch them again. You still love them, but do you forgive them again? Can you move on? Furthermore, you find out the cheating never really stopped. We’re told to forgive each other but it’s much easier said than done.

However, my topic today is not about us forgiving each other (man) but certain circumstances we go to God for forgiveness.

The scenario above is the predicament we put God in. We sin, He catches us every time, we ask for His forgiveness and more than likely do it again. Most times I’m sure we have the best intentions of doing right, and for while we do straighten up and act right. But the flesh is weak and many times temptation and opportunity get the best of us. Then unintentionally we find ourselves back in old habits and soon we’re repenting and asking for forgiveness again. God loves us unconditionally and the thing is He forgives us to please Himself, not because we deserve it (Isaiah 43:25). Had it been left to us we’d all be on the short bus to hell. We all fall short, but at least we’re trying.

By definition, real repentance means to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life. So it’s possible to be sorry and even ask for forgiveness without truly repenting. But isn’t it the act of true repentance part of what secures our spot in heaven?

This is the part that’s going to step on some toes. What about the times we ask for forgiveness and intentionally find ourselves back in habitual sin? The obvious example is premarital sex.  We have sex, then go to church and ask for forgiveness for our sins and go back at it like nothing happened. How can you go to God and ask for forgiveness knowing that you have every intention of doing it again? Are we really repenting if we intend to do it again? We like to say stuff like “God know my heart” and He does, but he also knows our sins and our intentions. It doesn’t seem like we really repent. We go through the motions so we can feel better about what we’re doing but He knows if we’re really sincere or just fooling ourselves. We’re definitely not fooling Him.

 I don’t have all the answers and have battled and been conflicted with this myself. But I can definitely pose the questions.