Question:

I accepted Christ when I was in my twenties. Like most I have had times when I was close to God and times when I was not. I have struggled with a sex and porn addiction since I was a teenager. I am doing well with it for the last few months and have been close to God. I am married. Not long ago, while on a business trip, I slept with another woman. My wife does not know. I know this was wrong and have repented to God but the feeling of forgiveness is not there. What more do I need to do? Telling my wife will only hurt her.


Answer:

Forgiveness is never described as a feeling in the Bible. It is a verdict regarding our sentence, personal feelings have nothing to do with it.

God wants people to enter a covenant with Him, renounce a life a sin, and dedicated to godly living. "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:11-13). Even as a Christian, the possibility of sin remains. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 1:8-2:1). Notice that it is God who is faithful and just in forgiving us. This is not about our earning forgiveness or deserving forgiveness.

But many want the shame and guilt to go away, but those are your reminders not to repeat your mistakes. It is people who are not bothered by their sins who have me concerned.

A better use of your time is looking at why you sinned and then take measures so that the opportunities are diminished. If you know you have a weakness in an area, it is foolish to expose yourself to temptations in that area.

Thank you for your reply. I understand this in my head and in what I read. I will take what you have said to heart. This morning's reading was Proverb 5 (appropriate timing) and Psalms 120 and 121.

I found your web site by accident. When I read your description of your church, I figured you were the typical judgmental Christian or as I refer to them "JAMES" (Judgmental, Antagonistic, Mean spirited, Exclusive, and Self righteous.) After reading some of your answer to the questions, I saw your deep love for the people reaching out to you. I have told many friends about your site and the understanding I found there. May God bless you, please pray for me.

Isn't it odd how people make what ought to be a good thing into something bad? "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24). "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" (I Corinthians 6:2). People come asking question because they want help in making decisions about their lives. But "decision" is just another word for "judgment."

And when a person makes a distinction between righteous living and wickedness, of course that is being exclusionary. You might be interested in the article Jesus: Intolerant, Confrontational, and Exclusionary.

What I'm glad is that you look beyond the surface and actually read what is on this site. I hope it continues to benefit you.