All of us have shortcomings. In order for us to effectively
deal with them so we can become more like Christ, however, we must be able to
see what our problem areas are and be willing to address them. We are all
experts at seeing what’s wrong with others. But it’s often hard for us to see
our own faults. A great example of this difficulty to see our own faults is
found in the Old Testament. It involves David the King of Israel. He lied with
another man’s wife named Bath-sheba, got her pregnant, and then had the man killed in battle to
cover up his sin. Yes, this is in the Bible.
Anyway, God sent a prophet by the name of Nathan to rebuke
David for his wicked sin. Instead of talking in direct terms, Nathan recounted
the transgression in a parable. And when David heard what the man in the parable
had done, this is what the Bible said about David’s response: “And David’s
anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord
lives, the man that has done this thing shall surely die” (2 Samuel 12:5).
And this how Nathan responded to David’s words: “You are the
man” (verse 7)!
So it was only when he thought Nathan was talking about someone
else that David could see how terrible what he had done was. I believe we can
relate to this double standard. We tend to be harder on others than we are on
ourselves. Sometimes, we may outright deny that we have a problem area, even
when people who love us and who have our best interest at heart confront us
about the problem. Or we may acknowledge the truth of what others are saying,
but we rationalize our character flaws or our sins.
Can you see your own faults? Can you make an impartial
self-examination of yourself? Do you have the same sharp eye for detecting
areas where you miss mark that you have when observing the conduct of others?
Appropriate actions to correct our character flaws cannot take place until we
can see the problem as it really is, own up to it, and resolve to deal with it.
The Bible refers to David as a man after God’s own heart.
But in the matter of Bath-sheba, David was about as ungodly as one can get. Similarly,
the question is not whether or not we will miss God at times because the truth
is that all of us will. Rather, the question is, when we do miss the mark, will
we see our own fault and what will we do about it?