Sometimes, it’s unavoidable. We can’t lie or sweet talk or manipulate or deflect or distract or ignore or cry our way out of it.
We’ve messed up. We’ve been caught. And, we must deal with the mess we’ve made. Big messes, hurtful messes, painful messes.
I’ve been there, in that moment, where I must face the music. I just bet you have too.
The very best approach is to live small. To approach it humbly. To accept the truth and stand strong to receive the full brunt of consequence. It’s hard. It’s not fun.
The story of David gives us a vivid picture in living small when we’ve messed up. 1 Samuel 11 gives us these facts:
- King David slept with another man’s wife, Bathsheba, while that man was away in battle (11:2-4).
- She became pregnant. (11:5).
- He then used his kingly power to position that man in the battlelines to be killed (um…murder) so that he could marry Bathsheba. Such a royal and murderous mess-up (11:6-27)!
- God sent Nathan the prophet to confront King David on his sin, on his major mess-up (12:1-12).
We can learn 2 things from David:
1. Accept full responsibility for your sin. David said:
“I – have – sinned.” 12:13
Don’t offer excuses, blame, rationalizations, or reasons. I suppose David could have said,
“It was her fault. She was up bathing naked on the roof. I couldn’t help myself. She should have known better. I was bored. I had to cover it all up. I’m king. I can do what I want. It was fully within my power to do it. I had to make right my wrong by marrying her. Someone else would have done exactly the same thing.”
2. Realize sin is against your relationship with God.
“…against the Lord.” 12:13
It’s so easy to think of our sin as our consequence, our punishment. Instead, let’s learn from David and see our sin as a damaging agent to our relationship with God. The sinful choices we make, our messes each and every day, are against God.
To live small is to honor God with how we live our lives. And when we do mess up, not to instantly think of self-preservation, like how will I be punished. But to think of how our choice has offended our Heavenly Father and to be sorry and repentant about that.
When I can get to that place, I am living small when I mess up.
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