The Bible tells us to confess our sins to God, with the promise that if we do he will forgive us. This seems straightforward enough. But in reality we often fear that God will not forgive us, partly because we’re super-aware that we’re confessing the same sin we’ve confessed a hundred times before. It can seem discouraging to go on confessing the same sins over and over again.
This is a question I’ve wrestled with emotionally many times. What is the solution?
Well I just finished reading Bryan Chapell’s forthcoming book Unlimited Grace, and on the very last page he offers some helpful counsel on this dilemma.
Too many people cease confessing their sin because they despair of ever ceasing to sin. They figure that God will grow exasperated with their repeated confessions. To such persons we must say, ‘Keep on confessing.’ The Lord will not tire of the weak and weary who come to him. His grace is too great. Rather, if we are faithful in confessing our sin, he is forever faithful to keep forgiving our sin.
In addition, God will use our daily, dogged, and unrelenting confessions to create a growing distaste for our sin so that we can…spit it out of our lives–as mature repentance requires. If we faithfully confess our sin and then sin again, we should not hesitate to confess again, and again, and again–until our souls sicken of whatever is coming between us and the God who never sickens of our coming to him.
Confession is good for the soul, even if we need to do it over and over for the same sin. Repetition of a sin is no reason to abandon confession. He who urged us to forgive seventy-seven times has the heart stamina for many more of our confessions (Matt. 18:22).