The Spiritual Test

The Spiritual Test (CaD 2 Sam 12) Wayfarer

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
2 Samuel 12:13a (NIV)

When I was five years old, while on a Christmas Eve sleepover at my grandparent’s house,  I stole all of my siblings’ gift envelopes off of the Christmas tree and hid them in my suitcase. I watched in silence on Christmas day as grandma racked her brain to figure out where those envelopes went. Then, I promptly forgot that my mom would be the one unpacking my suitcase when we got home. I was totally busted. My butt was as rosy as Santa’s cheeks from the spanking that quickly followed. The cheeks of my face were quickly stained with tears of remorse. I called grandma to confess my heinous crime and to ask her forgiveness.

I learned at an early age that your sins find you out. Having said that, let me readily admit that it didn’t stop me from sinning. I’ve made plenty of tragic choices since then. Along my journey, however, I’ve come to realize that hiding, concealing, obfuscating, blaming, and excusing my wrongdoing is both delaying the inevitable and stunting my spiritual growth and development. The further I get in the journey the more readily I’ve embraced my fallibility and shortcomings. I might as well cut to the chase, admit I blew it, and allow everyone to move on.

I’ve been reading the book Seven by Jeff Cook which explores the link between Jesus’ “Beatitudes” and the seven deadly sins. He writes,

“Being poor in spirit is like being part of an AA meeting where all the participants confess openly that their lives have become unmanageable. Poverty in spirit is a conversation over coffee in which tears and regrets and inadequacies cover the table…Those who know they are poor in spirit are blessed because they alone know they need help – and any step toward help must be a step toward community…When we make our hurts and our past and our junk public, we are healed. When we keep them private, it is only a matter of time before they destroy us.”

In this morning’s chapter, David is confronted by the prophet Nathan regarding his illicit affair with Bathsheba and his conspiracy to murder Bathsheba’s husband. His attempt to conceal the fact that he was the father of Bathsheba’s child is revealed in dramatic fashion. David’s response was to quickly confess his wrongdoing and seek God’s forgiveness. It’s a fascinating contrast to David’s predecessor. When the prophet Samuel confronted King Saul with his wrongdoing, Saul excused his behavior and refused to repent of his actions.

We all make mistakes. We all make selfish choices that hurt others. I’ve learned along my life journey that the true spiritual test is in how I respond to God and others in the ensuing shame and guilty conscience, or when my mistakes are confronted and exposed.

 A Note to Readers
I’m taking a blogging sabbatical and will be re-publishing my chapter-a-day thoughts on David’s continued story in 2 Samuel while I’m taking a little time off in order to focus on a few other priorities. Thanks for reading.
Today’s post was originally published in May 2014
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The featured image on today’s post was created with Wonder A.I.

If you know anyone who might be encouraged by today’s post, please share.

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