Too Big To Fail
2 Samuel 12:1
Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!” (v.7).
Jerry terHorst resigned as US Press Secretary when
his friend President Gerald Ford pardoned disgraced
former President Richard Nixon. He told Ford that
he didn’t know how he could “credibly defend” the
President’s decision to pardon Nixon when common
citizens were being punished for conscientiously refusing
to serve in the Vietnam War. For his part, President Ford
did not want to pardon his predecessor, but he thought
it was necessary for America to put the “long national
nightmare behind” and move on.
Isn’t that how it goes? The people on top get away
with more than those at the bottom of the food chain.
Entry-level staffers are imprisoned for their crimes, but
prosecuting a President would be too difficult for a nation
to endure. Workers lose their jobs and go bankrupt while
large banks are bailed out because their failure would
devastate the world’s economy.
We rage at the politics of such injustice, and yet we
may do it too. We cover for a pastor to preserve the
reputation of our church or dismiss the misconduct of our
candidate in order to win the election. The bigger you
are, the less likely you are to fail.
Not in God’s world. James said that leaders in the
church “will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1) and
Paul wrote that all leaders will be held accountable
(1 Corinthians 4:2-5). Jesus reproached the religious
elite for turning their converts “into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!”
(Matthew 23:15). Rather than be intimidated into silent consent, let’s follow the
example of Nathan who spoke truth to King David. He didn’t rationalize David’s
adultery and murder, but boldly declared “You are that man!”
The bigger you are, the harder you will fall. Let’s lead others in integrity and
honesty that honors God. —Mike Wittmer
Read Matthew 23:1-39
to see how Jesus spoke
truth to the powerful.
What can you learn from
Are you becoming “too
big to fail”? How have
you used your power to
smudge the rules and
get away with sins that
you wouldn’t have tried