The Bible teaches, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 1:9, 2:1,2 (NIV).
Since God forgives us through the blood of Jesus, why would we not forgive ourselves? Are we more just or more strict than God? Disagreeing with God’s word indicates a lack of faith.
Be comforted by Philippians 3:13: “Forgetting those things which are behind.” We forget these things because it is right that we should do so. Because God forgets them and declares that He has washed us from all of our imperfections. Isaiah 1:18 (NIV), “‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.’” Let us trust God to help us to follow as closely as possible in Jesus’ footsteps. We will never reach perfection in our human lives.
However, because we are forgiven, does that mean we simply forget about our weaknesses? No. God loves us and will discipline us to develop our characters. Hebrews 12:5-6, 10-11( ESV), 5… “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives…he (God) disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
God will give us experiences to help us appreciate the seriousness of our sins and to strengthen our resolve. We are forgiven, but God teaches us as well. Those Christians who are wise will submit to discipline and grow thereby.