I see my sin as a failure–and definitely, in one sense, it is–but that is a wrong view in another sense. If I strive for perfection as the thing that will make me pleasing to God, I am in essence saying that Christ’s death was not enough, that I want something different than to be–continually–in need of His salvation.
And when I say, “God, I want to approach You as the Prodigal, in humility and acknowledgment of my own sinfulness,” I don’t really mean that. What I want is to be past it, and, looking back, to say, “What a sinful creature I was. Thank You for accepting such a hideous creature as that” (as if the hideous creature is separate from the new enlightened person I have become).
Yet to come as the Prodigal means I come (present tense) in my sinfulness, with sin and by myself, needy and broken at my Saviour’s feet, and in this state, to receive His grace-filled embrace.