By: Gabriela Yareliz
What does it mean to ask for forgiveness of our sins? I found C.S. Lewis’ reflections on this so on point that I wanted to share his thoughts. He says that we often think that this idea of forgiveness of sins is pretty basic to our faith (and we gloss over it), but in practice, we are terrible at it. We often approach God with our excuses and extenuating circumstances and think that a request for forgiveness is a presentation of why we were justified in our mistake(s).
“If you had the perfect excuse, you would not need forgiveness; if the whole of your action needs forgiveness, then there is no excuse for it. But the trouble is that what we call ‘asking God’s forgiveness’ very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses.”C.S. Lewis
I found this to be a very powerful thought. A thing to reflect on. When we approach God for the forgiveness of our sins (forget everyone else, and we focus on ourselves), what does that look like? Am I presenting excuses and anxiously pointing out things He already knows and sees through? We try to overcompensate and cover up our mistakes by making it seem like it was ‘inevitable’ or ‘meant to be’, but God isn’t fooled by any of this.
Asking for forgiveness is not a form of self-preservation. Instead, the key ingredient is always humility.