Monday, November 05, 2007

How Many Times Does God Forgive?

A member of the HCR forum recently asked the following question:
Hey I was wondering: Does God forgive us after we willingly and knowingly sin? And also when we sin that way and ask forgiveness and do that same thing again and ask forgiveness and so on and on? When we consciously choose the worldly and sin instead of walking with the Lord, even though we did walk with Him? I want to live Christian. And want to repent.
Yes, He certainly forgives! When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, Jesus said not 7 times but 70x7! (cf. Mt 18:21-22). If our human forgiveness is supposed to be so great, how much more will be the forgiveness of our Lord? "70x7" pales in comparison to the inexhaustible font of mercy that we have in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

We also know about God that he will never despise a contrite heart (cf. Psa 51:7). Never. If ever you turn to God, truly repentent, he will forgive you, no matter how many times you are unfaithful. "If we are faithless, he remains faithful--for he cannot deny himself" (2 Tim 2:13).

Note that true repentence is the key. If you ask for forgiveness and then turn right around and do the same sin again without even trying to change anything about your life or the circumstances that cause you to sin, then do not expect to be forgiven. "Would you presume upon the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not know that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" (Rom 2:4).

God knows that we will fall, and many times at that. He doesn't expect us to receive forgiveness and then live the rest of our lives perfectly. As long as we show the Lord that we are truly sorry and that we are trying the best we can to improve our lives, He will pick us back up again. But, sometimes we sin because we know that God will just forgive us later. That's called presuming upon his mercy, and it is a sin.

I hope that helps.

Pax Christi,


revprodeji said...

Great picture

Adam the Catholic said...

It shood be noted that the desire to be sorry for our sins, even though we may not be truly sorry is a good thing. One must start somewhere. A good starting point is wanting to be sorry for the things we are not sorry for.

Jeff Baker said...

Nice post, Nick. Timely too, as I've been struggling lately and have had to go to Christ in prayer, adoration, and via the Sacrament of Confession.

You're right though, when I earnest asked for help through my sins, He answered. I obviously cannot do it myself.



phatcatholic said...

Good point, adam!

I'm glad to help, jeff.

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