In spite of our best intentions and efforts, we all ‘fall short’ of God’s requirements (see Romans 3:23). So what’s the answer? ‘If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]. If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].’ (1 John 1:8–9 AMPC)
When it comes to God’s forgiveness, knowing is better than feeling. Here’s how God’s forgiveness works: consciousness of sin leads to conviction of sin, and conviction of sin leads to confession of sin, and confession of sin leads to cleansing of sin, and cleansing of sin leads to confidence before God (see 1 John 3:21–22).
You say, ‘I don’t feel worthy of God’s forgiveness.’ You will never be worthy of it! God’s forgiveness is not based on your worthiness, but on Christ’s! Furthermore, God is not like your parents; He doesn’t insist you squirm and be miserable for a few days so that you will ‘learn your lesson’ before He forgives you. That would mean you play a part in earning His forgiveness. It’s by grace, and grace alone (see Ephesians 2:8–9).
‘Grace’ means ‘undeserved favour’. So when God forgives you, honour Him by forgiving yourself and moving on.