David must have been in for a real shock when Nathan boldly told him that he was in sin. There he was, all ready to stir up his righteous indignation at the lowly man who dared to prey on the unfortunate. He was unsparing in his judgment: “Kill this man.” And David had the power to put this man to death—after all he was the king, the absolute power in Israel.

But Nathan pointed the finger directly at David and said, “You’re the man.” Now, for Nathan this was a risky proposition. David could have had him put to death. But Nathan did exactly what God told him to do—even the stuff that wasn’t fun. Spiritual leadership is not all fun and games. Many times it involves ugly and nasty confrontations.

David’s reaction shows why he was indeed a man after God’s own heart. It wasn’t because he was perfect, but because he had a humble spirit. When rebuked for his sin, David immediately went to God and confessed, begging for mercy. He restored his relationship with God immediately.

You and I will fail. Sometimes it will have to be pointed out to us by spiritual people we admire. What is your reaction? Is it one of hostility, denial, and blame? Or is it one of humble contrition and a resolve to do better, like David?

God is a forgiving God, a gracious God, and a loving God. When you sin He will forgive you, and you can move on in victory.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — The Apostle John, 1 John 1:9

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder