Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 12; Galatians 6:1
“You are the man!” These are the chilling words Nathan proclaims to King David. David had done what we all would have said was unthinkable. He had committed adultery with another man’s wife, and when he discovered the woman was pregnant, David had the man killed in battle. Uriah was the man’s name, and he was a devoted soldier in Israel’s army. David’s sins take us by surprise, but 2 Samuel 12 confronts us with a tension we didn’t expect.
It is hard to imagine someone holding an authority figure accountable, but that is what Nathan the prophet does with David. Nathan tells a story to hear David’s reaction to a crime that was committed, and then Nathan reveals the true story: David is the criminal. Upon hearing the charges, David humbles himself before the Lord and Nathan and repents. The actions are not erased, but they are also not ignored. King David had fallen short of the righteous standard of God, and the results of his crimes are many. But Nathan had the courage to go before David to confront him with his sins, and David responded with humility.
Application: It is scary to consider holding others accountable. What if they respond with anger or attempt to accuse us of our own failures? Who am I to hold them accountable since I have made mistakes too? We must not have this attitude when it comes to accountability. At the heart of accountability is love for others. In Galatians 6:1, Paul instructs us to restore others who have fallen into sin. Paul also tells us to restore them using a spirit of gentleness. Accountability is not about anger and shouting, but about love and commitment to God. Nathan loved David enough to hold him accountable, and Nathan revered God enough to uphold His righteous instructions.
Do you love others enough to restore them from their failures? Are you able to be gentle, yet bold, in confronting someone who has done wrong? These questions make us feel uneasy, but is important that you think on the answer now and not when your response is needed. Keep a high view of God’s call to holiness and righteous living, and remain gentle and humble when holding others accountable. We all fall short and make mistakes, so we should be understanding with one another. But God has called us to stand apart from sinfulness and live holy lives, so be bold to not excuse sin either. With the help of God’s Spirit, we will be able to bear the burdens of others with a spirit of gentleness and a zeal for righteousness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me from my sins and giving me a desire to live a life worthy of your great salvation. Help me to be humble and understanding with the mistakes of my fellow Christians, and also be strong and loving enough to hold them accountable. May we work together to be a righteous people that is pleasing and honoring to you, God. I love you, Father. Amen.