Take a moment with me and slowly read through these names. What comes to mind first? Monica Lewinsky*; Lance Armstrong*; Chuck Colson*; Jimmy Swaggert*; Barry Bonds*; Richard Nixon*; King David*. Obviously your first response has been a lasting memory, a memory of something significant you recall about someone. Why the asterisks, you ask? Asterisks stand for omitted matter or information that we store in association with a given person or event.
Though we can’t see it, everyone has an asterisk associated with their life. These are people’s first thoughts about us. How they characterize us. It marks us in the present, and it tends to define us when we are gone. Granted, our asterisk can change during our lifetime, but once we leave this earth, the last asterisk tends to stick. King David is a good example of that. David: The youngest of the 8 sons of Jesse. Shepherd boy; harp player; poet and songwriter; put out to pasture. But in his life David went from Zero to Hero to Zero and by God’s grace, rebuilt his life. Maybe your journey has some similarities?
Here’s how even the Bible summarizes David’s life and adds an asterisk: “David had done what is right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life –
except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” (1 Kings 15:5) Bam! David’s sin was certainly serious but it was not an indelible mark in God’s book. David’s God, our God, is relentless to go after us and rescue us
when we get out of line. Correction is his heart, not condemnation. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1)
Despite our sin, and some of us do a remarkable job of trying to hide it, minimize it, ignore it, or refuse to acknowledge it, God wants to work in our lives to clean it out and restore us. Maybe you have something
in your life that you continue (unsuccessfully) to try to cover from others and from God. People may be fooled, but never God. And why would we even want to conceal our sin from a Father who knows our weaknesses, is a forgiver and a restorer? He always desires the best for us! To his credit, King David is one person who saw the benefit in being corrected and disciplined by God.
In a significant way, our sin and disobedience is a reflection of how we see and value God. Likewise, it is an insight we give to believers and especially nonbelievers of how much we esteem God and our relationship with him. Nathan, the prophet who confronted David so skillfully (“You are the man!”), told David he was forgiven BUT “You have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt” (for our God). (1 Sam. 12:14 NIV)
Sometimes we have to fight through the shame and guilt we allow the enemy to put upon us in order to allow the Lord to perform his work of restoration. Allow me to share four practical steps we might embrace and practice so that we don’t develop a mindset of “I fell and I can’t get up.”·
- The Holy Spirit must be invited and allowed to work and convict us of our sin
- We must repent. Admit our wrongdoing, our helplessness to correct our course alone, and commit to right living. (Godly sorrow is much more than simply saying “sorry” because we got caught.
- Be willing to accept and endure the consequences of our actions
- Guard your heart. Take preventative steps to ensure you move towards and maintain righteous living ( This requires healthy relationships)
Think About It