“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. ” Proverbs 24:16. Although this verse is primarily speaking about a just man falling into trouble rather than sin, it still has an application to Christians which commit “acts” of sin but confess them and then get back up onto the straight and narrow path. We know that if we confess our sins God with forgive and cleanse us. I John 1:9.
C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” notes that perfect virtue will not be obtained by any merely human efforts but only with God’s help. He goes on to say – “After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important [any virtue] may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything other than perfection.”
Mr. Lewis states it so well as he often does. We are not to despair when we occasionally fail in our Christian walk as we cannot trust in ourselves. We are to ask forgiveness and believe that God will honor His promise to forgive. We can then get back up and move on with our Christian walk. However, it is important to never be content with anything less than perfection, even though never fully obtained this side of Heaven. When we do sin it should grieve us because as Christians we are now slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18); but, at the same time, we should not despair and lose hope. If we confess our sin God is faithful to not only forgive us but cleanse us from all unrighteousness.