Getting Up After You Fall

My last post addressed dealing with Christians who have disappointed us. As promised, this post is about dealing with being the ones who do the disappointing.

It happens. We sin. Sometimes, we sin in huge ways. We, who know what God wants us to do, know that He knows what is best for us, has a plan for us, loves us more than we can possibly imagine, behave in ways that break his heart.

So what can we do? How do we make it right?

Let’s take a lesson from King David. He fell in a major way: lusted after Bathsheba, acted on that lust, covered up the fact that he acted on the lust, and then orchestrated the murder of Bathsheba’s husband so no one would know about that lust (2 Samuel 11). Pretty awful, right?

But David, the Bible tells us, was a man after  God’s own heart. God loved him far too much to allow David to “get away” with these sins. So God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David (2 Samuel 12). Before we talk about how David responded, though, let’s consider what he didn’t do:

  • Make excuses
  • Blame someone else
  • Compare himself to others who did way worse
  • Minimize his sin
  • Get angry at Nathan for calling him out

Here’s what David said after Nathan’s confrontation: “I have sinned against the Lord.”

He confessed his sin. Period. No justifications, no equivocations, no finger pointing. Psalm 32 shows us a glimpse into this confession. David says when he stayed silent, his “strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” But when he confessed, God forgave. And with forgiveness came renewed intimacy with God and joy.

So how do we deal with sin in our lives? We confess it.

It sounds simplistic, but it is one of the hardest acts we ever do. Temptation from within and without encourages us to do anything but accept blame for wrongs committed. Maybe you’re there. Your strength is sapped because you’re hiding your sin, or you’re redirecting it from yourself to someone else. You’re angry at the sins of others but blind to your own. Stay there and you will remain exhausted, frustrated, cynical. Confess! Accept the freedom and joy that comes from forgiveness.

Maybe you have confessed, but you can’t let go of the guilt. You don’t “feel” forgiven. In that case, your faith is misplaced. It’s in your feelings and not in the word of God. Scripture tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9, emphasis mine). Trust in this promise, not in your guilt.

Maybe you have asked and accepted God’s forgiveness, but there are others you have hurt. You need to seek their forgiveness, as well. They might not give it to you, they might say hurtful things. But you still need to do your part to right the wrongs you committed. God will help you respond with grace and forgive them for wrongs they may do or have done to you. And you may be surprised at the restoration that can take place when you confess. There are few things that deepen a friendship like acknowledging wrongs and seeking forgiveness.

If this is you – make today the LAST day you live with the guilt of your sin. Confess and be restored. And rejoice!

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