Today’s passage is definitely soap opera worthy. Heck, give this story to the writers of Game of Thrones and you could easily see this happening on HBO: A king lusts over the wife of one of his soldiers, sleeps with her, gets her pregnant, and then kills her husband by sending him over to the front lines where he was guaranteed to die.
This is one of King David’s worst moments. If this was a Shakespeare play, it could’ve been a serious permanent tragedy. And yet, in spite of all the drama, there was some good that came out in the end.
But what can we learn from all the tragedy and heartache?
Aside from the obvious
“Don’t give into the idea that the grass is greener on the other side,”
I want to reflect on 2 Samuel 12:1-15, when Nathan confronts David about committing adultery with Bathsheba and killing her husband. After Nathan tells David the parable of the rich man killing his neighbor’s favorite lamb and prophecies what will happen to David’s wives, David finally admitted that all the things he did was a sin against the Lord.
And while the Lord chose to forgive David, the forgiveness came at a great cost: the life of the son that he and Bathsheba conceived in their adultery. During those days that David grieved for the loss of his child, he wrote Psalm 51, which is one of my perennial favorites. Danielle Rose sang a gorgeous version of this Psalm that I highly recommend you listen to.
The first step to accepting God’s forgiveness, like the beginning of many 12-step programs, is to admit that you have a problem. Acknowledge your weakness and recognize that you are in need of God’s mercy, forgiveness, and grace. At the same time, don’t dwell on the fact that you have done wrong and think that God will never forgive you for the things you’ve done.
The reason why we have the Sacrament of Confession is because we should never dwell in the shame of our sins. Humility, like all things, is a balancing act. We can’t be proud of our sins, but we shouldn’t dwell on our faults to the point that we feel like we’re worthless. Instead, we ask God for help because He is the only one who can help.
Saint John Vianney, pray for us.
Do you talk more about your own issues or other people’s problems? Why? How hard is it for you to admit that you struggle with something?
What is your perspective on sin? Do you agree with people who say “Only God can judge” or do you feel too ashamed of the things you’ve done?
Actions: Pray an examination of conscience tonight. There’s a Jesuit version called the Examen that lets you reflect on the whole day. Check out the link to learn how to pray the Examen.