There's a man in the Bible named David. At least twice it is recorded that he was "A man after God's own heart".
It is also worth noting that David was an adulterer and a murderer.
How then, was this man given such high praise? He was also a repentant man. He owned his wrong and immediately thereafter made sure to correct his behavior and never did whatever wrong he was found guilt of again.
As Christians we often have a hard time with remaining repentant because in secular society no one is wrong. It is popular to live in a world that does not subscribe to any moral black and white. Everything is grey. As long as you can justify your actions in a way that appeals to the humanity in someone else, you can be excused for almost any sin. Because in secular society, sin is subjective.
If it feels good to you, then it can't be wrong. The obvious error here is that we often attempt to apply secular reasoning to Biblical principle.
The two will never mix.
If we are to believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, that in it are the standards by which every born again believer should adhere to, it is pure folly to try to understand it from a non-believers point of view. The Bible's ordinances are clear when it comes to most of what us a believers struggle with. This is especially true when the reason why we are struggling is because we are constantly comparing ourselves to the world around us.
We must remember that we are in this world not of this world, that what is "normal" for everyone else simply does not apply to us. Romans 12: 2 says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." We are not to look like this world, we are to be living epistles of what is good, acceptable and perfect in the will of God.
David knew who God was to him. At every point in his life until his recorded adultery and murder, he took time to consult God on his every move. He was the warrior king, and before he planned a battle he would pray to God asking him, "Will we win the battle? Should we fight at this place, at this time, with these people?" God would answer him with a yes or no and sometimes specific strategies on how to defeat his enemies. If David was unsure what God's answer was he would consult the prophet Nathan. Unfortunately, the one enemy David forgot to ask for help with, was his own flesh.
Once he saw Bathesheba all reason and prayer went out the window and for 25 verses David operated in himself (2 Samuel 11: 2-27). When God sent Nathan to correct him, he did not try to shift blame (well God she should've known I could see her from where my window was) or deny that he was in the wrong (God I'm king, I can do what I want), instead David immediately repented. That was it. 2 Samuel 12:13a, "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord." David, king of a great nation was not so proud to be corrected by God and was humble enough to accept responsibility for his wrong.
I want to be like David. I don't want to be an adulterer or a murderer, but I want to be powerful and humble. I want to be in a place where God is my number one confidante and advisor. I want to immediately recognize my wrong repent and move forward. David went on to do mighty things in God's name, including provide the heir that would be considered the wisest king of his time. David didn't allow his sin to be the thing that defined him for the rest of his life. David's sin on all accounts is something that most every one I know would consider unforgivable. Yet, God forgave him. David's sin must have caused him much shame and embarrassment, yet he continued on with his life choosing not to wallow in his downfall.
How much more would we be able to grow in faith, love and humility if we took a page from David's life? If David could accept forgiveness for murder and adultery, how much simpler would it be to accept forgiveness for lying? For stealing? For fornicating? For gossiping? For not paying our tithes? For ignoring who it is God has called us to be?
I encourage you even now, to repent from whatever sin you feel is holding you back from a deeper relationship with God. Promise yourself and God that this thing will not continue to separate you from his love. And when you're done, never look back.
Take a moment a declare victory over sin and sinning in the comments. God has made you a new creature, now let everyone know in the comments below!