Does God forgive you if you genuinely feel sorry for something you have done?

For instance, if someone vowed to God that he or she won't do this or that to get something in life but the person breaks it and does that specific thing, will God not give the person what he asked for because he broke the vow?

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1 Answer 1


If you are referring to the Christian God of the Bible, there are several points to keep in mind:

  1. We cannot make bargains with the God of the Bible. We cannot say, "I'll stop doing A if you give me B." When we come to the God of the Bible, we serve Him for His own sake - we must place Him first in our lives, above all of our wants and desires.

  2. God always forgives those who sincerely repent of their sins and our willing to do their best to place Him first in their lives, even people who have done many evil things. Consider Ahab, one of the most wicked kings in Israel's history. In I Kings 21 God had just pronounced terrible judgment on Ahab and Jezebeel and the author of I Kings makes it clear that Ahab is a bad dude. But after hearing this judgment, Ahab repents and in a shocking display of mercy God relents from sending disaster. We see the same attitude with Nineveh when Jonah prophesies against them. But we also see God destroy Jezebeel just as he promised and wipe out evil nations. So there is a balance here - God is always willing to forgive those who humble themselves. But he will judge the proud - such as Belshazzar who mocked God's name and then saw the writing on the wall.

  • Even if the true God is not the one that christians believe in, it would make no sense to think he/she is a being we can make petty bargains with. If one truly believes in a powerful and wise creator, one would try to live righteously. So if one thinks that it is good to do something, why should one only do it as part of some bargain with God? Obviously not!
    – David
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 14:24
  • I think there is a distinction - many of the classical pagan gods could be bargained with and were very human (that is to say, fickle) in their commitments. The God of which you speak, at least historically speaking, is the Judeo-Christian God. To my knowledge, religions that don't derive from Judeo-Christian roots do not believe in a transcendent, personal Creator.
    – Zanarkand
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 23:26
  • Well, just because most people believe in gods that can be bargained with does not imply anything about the true God if he/she exists. Note that the hebrew writings record many instances of people who bargained with YHWH.
    – David
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 14:22
  • The normative way of interacting with the God of the Hebrews was not through bargaining, and that is a very significant difference. There is a distinction between bargaining and repenting while asking God to relent from sending judgment for evil you have done. What are some specific instances of bargaining that stand out to you in the Hebrew Bible?
    – Zanarkand
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 17:47
  • The normative way of people interacting with their god[s] in any religion is not through bargaining either, and that isn't the point. Anyway, there are numerous examples and my intention is not to discuss them but merely to point out that the beliefs of people about their gods do not imply anything about the true God (if any). By the way, you don't have to count the Abraham pleading as bargaining, but there are many others that are clear-cut, such as Yakob's tenth and Yiptah's vow.
    – David
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 7:08

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