This week, we are talking about something that is really hard, admitting our sin. The text for this week, tells of the time that King David had an affair with Bathsheba. Besides the affair, King David, takes it a step further and has Bathsheba's husband killed, so that he can become her husband. The prophet Nathan, comes to King David and tells him story about two people in his kingdom, a rich man and a poor man. The poor man has a lamb who he loves and takes precious care of. One day, the rich man has a guest come and visit him. Not wanting to use any of his own flock, he takes the poor man's lamb by force and serves it to his guest. King David is enraged that somebody would do this in his kingdom. He demands that Nathan tells him who has done this vile act. The prophet Nathan tells King David that he is the rich man in this story. He took Bathsheba from her husband and killed him. David is stunned at this news as he realized the gravity of what he had truly done. It was this event, that lead King David to write Psalm 51. In it he asked for forgiveness. Some of you might have actually sung this part as part of a Sunday Morning Liturgy.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right[b] spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing[c] spirit.
We all sin. That is an unfortunate part of life. As Christians we need to go to God and ask for forgiveness but even more we need to go to that party we wronged and admit what we have done. This is hard stuff isn't it. Our society doesn't want us to admit our faults or errors. However what happens when we don't this? Relationships that are already broken are most often never able to be healed again. One person is wracked with guilt for what they have done and the other person has to pick up the pieces from what happened to them. Nobody wins.
When I worked in the medical field, I had an instance where I made a pretty big mistake. I gave the patient the wrong imaging agent, so instead of seeing their bones, I was left with looking at their heart. There was no harm done to the patience physically, the hard part for them was that they needed to come back on a different day to repeat the test. Instead of taking responsibility for my mistake, I blamed my coworker. I still remember her face as I put the blame for my mistake on her shoulders. She bursted into tears and started sobbing. I had never felt so low in my life as I felt at that moment. I had really hurt her, I had betrayed her trust and our friendship because I didn't want to lose face. Like King David when my eyes were open to the pain that I caused somebody else, I asked for her forgiveness. I apologized to her and made sure that the patient, as well as my boss, knew it was my fault. If I had never apologized and asked for forgiveness from my coworker, our relationship would have been permanently broken. Thankfully, our relationship healed and we are still good friends.
So is there somebody in your life, that you have sinned against? Have you done something that God wants you to repent and to account for? This is uncomfortable to do. It is not easy. However, when we do this, when we ask for forgiveness, then the healing that needs to happen can begin.