"This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
Moving closer to Christ moves us to an abrupt awareness of the darkness of our sin. While this may seem intimidating and depressing, it is enlightening. This awareness, moreover, is a wake up call to our own imperfections and leads us to a child-like reliance upon our Lord's infinite love and mercy. In 1 John 1: 9, the evangelist states, "If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing."
Acknowledging our shortfalls is key. I often find it too easy to dismiss my sins as part of the modern world's required human adaptation. But there is peace in the forgiveness and mercy of Jesus Christ. We grow closer to Christ through God's grace, but our free-will acceptance of that grace and cooperation with God's will are necessary. Responding to God's grace brings us into the light of Christ, and His light enables us to see our pride-ridden faults and, therefore, depend on God's loving forgiveness.