How do you respond when confronted about your sin?
Has a friend ever shared with you how they felt hurt by you? Has an authority figure (employerd, teacher, coach) ever sat you down to talk through some character flaws?
It’s one thing to say and acknowledge that I’m sinful, it’s another thing to be exposed and confronted in my specific sins. My tendency is to instantly want to justify, feel misunderstood, or even become angry with the one who is confronting me.
The truth is that those who confront us are God’s mercy to us. Those who are willing to confront us just might be the one’s that truly love us. I hate feeling the need confront to someone in my life because conflict is hard and costly. I would often rather protect myself and keep myself safe by not dealing with the conflict at all.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend.
There are people that God has placed in our lives for the purpose of faithfully wounding us. Based on his reaction, I wouldn’t be surprised if David spent his life thanking God for the prophet Nathan. Through the faithful rebuke of Nathan, God extended His mercy and grace to David. Confronting kings was risky business, but Nathan was faithful to expose the very thing that was keeping David from God.
Who is your Nathan?
Who are you allowing in your life to speak the hard truths to you? Who are you letting hold you accountable to known sin patterns?
It’s taken me some time, but I now see that these faithful friends aren’t placed in my life to judge and condemn me. If you take some time to read 2 Samuel 12 you’ll notice that Nathan starts off his confrontation with a parable, a story of two men who owned sheep.
Nathan didn’t need to judge and condemn David because David judged and condemned himself. When sin is detached from us, it’s much easier for us to see it for what it is. Like David, our spirit rises up in anger against the guy who is extra grumpy and rude. Our spirit rises up agains the friend who is very gracious and giving. Our spirit rises up against the obviously vain instagrammer. Sin is a lot clearer when seen in others.
That’s why Jesus said,
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned…
David’s own outrage at Nathan’s parable is what condemned David. Our outrage and frustration at the sin we see in others is what condemns us too. The truth is that we don’t even live up to our own standards. We know what’s right and good - and yet we spend our time justifying our own sinful actions, choices, moods, and behaviors.
Jesus is the ultimate Nathan. He is the ultimate faithful friend. Jesus came into the world to confront us over our sin. His death on the cross is our salvation, but it’s also our rebuke. We needed this saving because of the depths of our sin.
Thank you Lord for faithfully wounding us. Please send us friends who love us enough to call us out on the sin in us that is condemned already.