There have been many times when I have had to say I’m sorry to my wife, Leslie. Saying I’m sorry is not always an easy thing, but it’s something that needs to happen when an offense has been committed. Though I’m usually quick to apologize, there are sometimes when sorry just doesn’t seem like enough—I feel like I need to keep adding to it. Even after my wife has forgiven me, I may feel like I need to once again earn her favor. I may find myself saying I’m sorry for the same thing several times because I still feel guilty about it. It’s at times like these that she has reminded me that I don’t need to keep saying I’m sorry if she has already forgiven me.
The reason I would feel the need to keep saying I’m sorry for the same thing is that I don’t really believe that she means what she says when she forgives me. Because I don’t fully believe her, guilt is able to hang around, and I can’t shake the feeling that I need to work myself back into her good graces. Some of us do the same thing with God. Even though Christ has already died and risen, and we have already repented, and He has already forgiven us, we still feel the weight of guilt following us around.
Jesus Displayed God’s Love
Some of us mask depression and call it humility. It’s the mindset that says if I make myself suffer enough, God will accept me. You need to understand: that is a lie that is meant to trap you in a hurtful situation. There are religions and churches that follow this mindset, and they will tell you that you need to do enough or get low enough to gain God’s favor. But Jesus came as One greater than religion, and His coming displayed the immense love of God to a hurting world. Because of that, we are given God’s righteousness at the very moment we believe in His Son, Jesus.
You cannot be sorry enough to deserve the grace of God. Despair will tell you that you have to hate yourself so that God can love you, but that is also a lie. God loved you at your worst—no matter what you thought of your sin and no matter what you thought of yourself. There’s a big difference between humility and a low self worth. When we allow Christ to live in us, His humility is able to show through us, and yet at the same time we are able to fully understand just how much we are worth to Him.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
God Has Decided Your Worth
When God made the choice to send His only Son in your place, He decided your worth. You are worth the price that He was willing to pay for you—and it was a heavy, heavy price. Your worth is not based on how good you have been or how much you have accomplished. Your worth is based on and in the love of the Father, and it is because of His love that He sent Jesus to set us free.
When God says you are forgiven, He is telling the truth because God does not lie. So any guilt that is following you around falls under the category of condemnation from the enemy. The solution to this problem is to fully believe in Who God is and what He has done.
Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus let us know that He is the only way to the Father, and going that way means accepting His sacrifice for our sin and receiving His righteousness as our own. When you go your own way by trying to earn His forgiveness, you place yourself in the hands of one who couldn’t care less about you. Some valuable gems are cast aside because they are in the wrong hands. When you place yourself in the Father’s hands, He molds you, shapes you, and shines you until you able to be a light that reflects His love to others.