DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Whenever I ask God to forgive me, I try my best to think of everything I’ve done wrong so I can confess it. But what about the things I don’t remember? Will God forgive them also? — G.T.
DEAR G.T.: I’m thankful you want to seek God’s forgiveness for the things you do wrong. It’s far too easy, I’m afraid, for us to overlook our sins or act as if they aren’t serious.
But they are serious, because unconfessed sin breaks our fellowship with God, which is why we need to admit our sins and seek his forgiveness. He is willing to forgive us and cleanse us because he loves us and wants us to live in his presence every day.
This, after all, is why Christ came into the world and died for us. The Bible says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. … If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).
At the same time, the Bible assures us that God’s forgiveness isn’t limited only to the sins we remember. When Jesus died on the cross, all our sins — without exception — were transferred to him, and he took upon himself the judgment you and I deserve. The sins we don’t remember, the dark motives we aren’t even aware of, the good things we’ve failed to do — all these were nailed to the cross. Let the Psalmist’s prayer be yours: “Who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults” (Psalm 19:12).
Yes, confess your sins to God, regularly and often. But don’t be bound by fear, wondering whether he’s really going to forgive you. Instead, put your faith and trust in Christ, for he alone is our savior.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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