A woman confessed to me that she had lied about me. She then asked for my forgiveness. I told her she was forgiven. She took me at my word, and our relationship has been good ever since.
But what if she had badgered me with questions like, “Did I show enough grief for what I did?” and “Could I buy you something to show you I was sincere?” I would have felt insulted. She would have been placing more value on the quality of her repentance than on my integrity.
I believe that God is grieved in a similar way when we who have trusted Jesus continue to be burdened with feelings of remorse and guilt. God’s Word says that we are redeemed and forgiven “according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). The only requirement for daily forgiveness and cleansing is confession (1 Jn. 1:9).
Why then should we keep mourning over our sins, confessing the same ones again and again? Let’s focus on Him instead of on ourselves. Affirm His integrity by taking Him at His word.
Remember, our forgiveness depends on His character as the infinite Forgiver, not on our efforts to earn it. It’s the object of our trust that matters.
Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no respite know,
These for sin could not atone—
Thou must save, and Thou alone. —Toplady
Our faith in God may not be great, but our faith is in a great God.