Sheikh Abdur Rahman ibn al-Jawzi رحمه الله has advised that a wise man tries to avoid the punishment of sin. He does not rely on getting any concessions from Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله because he is convinced that Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله will judge with justice. Yes, most certainly the mercy of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله prevails but that depends on His will. Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله may forgive mountains of sin and punish a tiny sin. Therefore, sin is not what one hankers after.
History gives testimony to those who lost everything because they thought little of their sins and did not fear Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله. Furthermore, many claimed to be pious but their private lives were filthy. This resulted in them having lost acceptance in the hearts of the people.
Is it conceivable that the scale of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله will miss an atom’s weight of disobedience? Some rely on the mercy of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله and continue to indulge in sins. This is wrong because Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله may choose to forgive or punish. It must never happen that the thoughts of the mercy of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله cause you to overlook His justice; a believer must always endeavour to continuously wipe out his sins.
The need is for the believer to be submissive. He needs to continue pleading in the Court of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله. Nothing wipes out sin as humility does. Taking account of one’s sins and weeping over them are the best ways of reformation.