Will God forgive my repeated sinning?
Do you struggle with a particular sin in your life? How many times will God keep forgiving you?
Many Christians find they make the same mistake repeatedly. This is especially so if you have years of bad habits to overcome. So if you find yourself constantly failing with the same sin, rest assured, you are not alone in this struggle.
The apostle Paul writes about the struggle between a mind which wants to serve God and a sinful nature which just keeps on sinning. And he writes that Jesus Christ delivers him from this body of death (Romans 7, espescially verses 24-25). So Jesus’ blood is definitely powerful enough to wash away all your sin, even repeated sins. You are never beyond forgiveness.
But you must repent sincerely. The idea that God cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7) basically means that God sees right through someone who is not repenting sincerely. Sometimes repeated sin can be an indication that the person hasn’t really repented and is only saying they repent. They aren't truly sorry and they don't really care. God is not fooled by that.
Repeated sin is a sign that you have a particular weakness to that sort of temptation - which we all have to varying degrees. For some it may be anger, for others it may be jealousy, or greed, or sexual sin, or something else. Continualy sinning in the same way should indciate that that is an area in which you need to work particularly hard not to sin.
If you are genuinely looking to work on your sinful behaviour or thoughts, here's some things that will help:
- Pray that God will help you overcome the sin. Ask for God's spirit to help you live in line with him
- Try to work out what situations, decisions, activities or friends lead you into this sin, and then take practical steps to avoid them
- Tell a trusted Christian friend about the sin so they can pray with you and encourage you
- If you fall back into sin, turn back to God, ask for forgiveness and then keep trying - remembering that a day will come when it will no longer be a problem
So, in short, God is always ready to forgive - but we must never become complacent about sin and think it doesn’t matter. Rather, we must do whatever we can to avoid temptation and deal with sin when it happens.
Originally published as a Q&A, with thanks to christianity.net.au