1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Unfortunately, a major motivator that’s taught in the Christian church in regards to doing what’s right is fear. Guilt is heaped upon the Christian until he or she feels terrible for not being perfect. The problem with this, of course, is that no one is capable of being perfect. Motivation by fear is ineffective because it misses the whole point.
God did not send His own Son into the world just so we could have an example to live by because He expects us to perfectly obey Him. He knew that we could never live up to the standard of perfection and He offered a way to forgiveness and reconciliation. He paid the price so that we were no longer bound by the law.
Jesus freed us from the kind of burden that legalism brings by fulfilling the law. We don’t need to fear that we’re going to disappoint God because He’s faithful and just and forgives our sins. We have access to Him. He wants us to approach Him with our confession, so we have no reason to be afraid of what He’ll do if we own up to our sins. The prevailing thought is that God wants to forgive us and that should keep us from fearing punishment.