It can be so easy to make quick judgements about other people’s actions. Their unfairness is so crystal-clear. Their lack of judgement is so evident.
Why is it so much harder to look at our own behavior using the same standards? We are very quick to excuse ourselves and rationalize away our own actions. There is a veil of self-centeredness that covers our eyes when we look at our own choices.
Sometimes we all need a very good friend to help open our eyes to what we are doing.
That’s what Nathan did for David in 2 Samuel 12. He tells David a story about a very rich man who took advantage of a very poor man. When David heard the story, he burned in anger and said the rich man should die for his actions. And then Nathan turns to David and says’ You are the man.’
Wow! Call it like it is Nathan!
Nathan goes on to correlate his story with David’s recent action with Bathsheba and Uriah. This helped open David’s eyes to what he had done and David acknowledge his sins before God. David was so good at turning right back to God when he strayed.
I really need your mercy this time, God.
I know you love me. Your great compassion makes all of my sins disappear. Wash me, dear God. Clean me once again.
I know I have sinned against you – I can’t get it off of my mind.
I am guilty – go ahead and judge me.
I have always been sinful yet you desire faithfulness.
Cleanse me and wash me, dear God. I’m ashamed of my sins.
Create in me a heart that honors you, dear God.
May your spirit continue to grow within me.
Never turn away from me. You have saved me – may I find joy again.
Help me be a willing and faithful servant, dear God.