Christians recognize their need for a Savior because everyone sins. They embrace the gift of salvation Jesus offers, amazed that Christ loved us so much He died in our place for the sins we’ve committed. But how do Christians react to sinful acts committed after their salvation?
Optimists and pessimists. Each reacts to her own sins in different ways. Each penitent’s style must be dear to God.
The optimist sins brashly. She often falls into the snare of presuming on God’s grace. After all, He already forgave her sins, right? Don’t worry, be happy. The apostle Paul has some pointed words for such a thankless attitude. Romans 6:1-2; 15-18.
However, when the optimist finally realizes how her presumptive behavior insults God, she repents. She feels awful. She runs to her Father and begs forgiveness. She asks for help not to sin again. Reassured by her Father’s love, she continues life merrily, taking God at His Word that all truly is forgiven.
The pessimist sins sullenly. She falls into the trap of despair. She can’t believe God would truly forgive her treacherous behavior. Paul reminds her of the difference between the sorrow of Peter’s betrayal and the sorrow of Judas’s betrayal. 2 Corinthians 7:10.
However, after allowing the remorse to keep whirling round and round in a constant vortex of shame for days or weeks or years, the pessimist finally lifts her head to face the Savior, and she repents. Even when she receives the Father’s forgiveness, she still trudges through life, constantly apologizing to Jesus and hating the fact that she has been so far from perfect.
God delights in the first penitent for she has always believed what her Father says and lives in confidence of His love. God treasures the second penitent for she recognizes the serious problem of her fallen nature. She knows there is nothing she can do for herself except to depend on her Father for everything since there is no good thing in herself.
I am so grateful, that no matter what our personalities, God finds every one of His children precious.