I was intrigued to read a few weeks ago that while Donald Trump describes himself as a good person with a great relationship with God, he has never felt the need to ask God for forgiveness.
What particularly intrigues me is the idea that you can have a ‘great relationship’ with somebody without the need for forgiveness. It presupposes either that the two parties in the relationship behave perfectly at all times, or that neither party will be offended or hurt by the imperfect and selfish actions of the other. As Trump acknowledges the former isn’t realistic, while the latter simply doesn’t resonate with what we know to be true.
The Bible describes only one relationship that didn’t require the need for forgiveness, and that was between God and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Until Adam and Eve’s rejection of God, the picture painted is one of freedom and intimacy between two parties bound together in love and holiness; after their rebellion relationship was still possible but only if forgiveness was both asked for and given. So here’s the thing: a relationship without forgiveness is a relationship devoid of love, but the Bible insists that God is love and that because He loves us He is willing to forgive us. The only question is whether we will seek His forgiveness for the things we know we get wrong.