Moving Past Sinful Failure
Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-23
I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. —Isaiah 43:25
How should we handle moments of faith-failure, when we’ve damaged the kingdom of God in the eyes of our friends and family or dishonored God in our actions?
We can learn from King David after his humiliation in the Bathsheba scandal. Though the terrible consequences of that sin could not be avoided, he found his way back to a relationship with God that made it possible for him to continue to serve Him. We too can find our way back.
David’s pattern in 2 Samuel 12 serves us well: We need to declare our error candidly (v.13) and seek God’s forgiveness. Then we can ask God that others be spared the consequences of our actions (v.16). Finally, we need to recognize that sometimes the consequences simply cannot be avoided and must be endured. While we always mourn those consequences, we can’t allow them to so consume us that we cease to be servants of God (vv.20-23).
Satan not only delights in our failure but also in the spiritual inactivity that sometimes snares us in our remorse. When we’ve destroyed our witness, we are and should be humbled. But we should not multiply the damage by retreating into silence and drop out of the Lord’s service as ambassadors of Christ. We can move past failure.
Action Suggestion: If after you’ve confessed your sin or sins to God, you still suffer with guilty feelings, memorize Proverbs 24:16 and 1 John 1:9 and ask God to help you believe His Word. God will forgive our sins completely so as to restore us to His presence and service.
Merciful Savior, you can identify with our weaknesses and sins because you were tested in all points like us yet you didn’t sin. We repent and confess our sins and claim the forgiveness you provide through Christ’s substitutionary death in our place. Thank you for paying the penalty for our sin so now you can forgive us and we can also forgive ourselves when we sin. Help us not to allow Satan, who accuses us with feelings of guilt, to paralyze us into perpetual remorse and repeated efforts to atone for our sins. Instead, help us to believe deep in our hearts that you’ve forgiven us and cleansed us. Like David, we ask you to restore to us the joy of our salvation. And spare those we’ve hurt from suffering the consequences of our sins. Help us to make retribution, even fourfold, to demonstrate that we’ve truly repented.
In the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen