Painful Truth

2 Samuel 12:1 I have sinned against the Lord (v.13).

My 4-year-old son and I were watching television
when we saw a commercial for skin cream. A
woman’s face appeared and then the camera
zoomed in, revealing a rather serious set of crow’s feet.
But it didn’t stop there. Computer animation gave us a
peek beneath the surface of her skin—into her very pores.
Finally, they showed the wrinkle cream doing its thing. My
son looked over at me and said, “Mom, you should get
some of that.” After considering his comment, I consulted
the mirror and thought, “He’s right.”

Sometimes God uses people close to us to point out
our flaws, even though “honest words can be painful”
(Job 6:25). David had to endure an uncomfortable
confrontation when the prophet Nathan said, “You
have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the
Ammonites and stolen his wife” (2 Samuel 12:9). David’s
consequences for the sin? A rebellious household (v.11),
public disgrace (v.12), and personal loss (v.14).

During the gut-wrenching discussion, David didn’t say
much. In fact, Nathan spoke more than seven times the
number of words that David did. David listened more
than he talked, and he never defended his actions or
became angry with Nathan for speaking painful—but
honest—words. In the end, the king admitted, “I have
sinned against the Lord” (v.13).

The Bible says that “wounds from a sincere friend
are better than kisses from an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6). If God has placed
someone in your life who is willing to challenge you about your spiritual
shortcomings, take a lesson from David. Listen carefully—without getting
mad—to God’s messenger, and admit your mistake. Then, like David, you
can ask God to remove the stain of your guilt, and joyfully sing of His
forgiveness (Psalm 51:9,14).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Read Psalms 141:5 for a sound perspective on receiving correction.

When was the last time someone pointed out some painful truth
to you? How did you respond? Why is it sometimes most difficult
to confront people close to us about their spiritual shortcomings?