Many of us have been there: the exhausted parent after a long, hot summer day’s work, looking forward to spending some time at home away from the stresses of the day. We walk around the corner, only to find marker drawings on the wall of the dining room as a priceless art display from our toddler. The toddler has been told many times NEVER to color the walls and today, of all days, is the day where the toddler decides to create this masterpiece.
“Shame on you!”, the words of choice for a moment like this to grab the attention of the child and expose the action of wrongdoing. Or consider a different phase in life, when the child is a teenager and the issue is much more serious. The parent comes home from a long day of work and the phone rings. It happens to be the parent of the teenager’s boyfriend or girlfriend on the other line and there is a story that they wish to share that strikes pain in the heart of every parent who has sought to raise their family in God’s way. The story of discovering this sin in their lives.
“Shame on you!”
Will those words still be used?
This is where we look at the actions of Nathan for guidance. In 2 Samuel 12, Nathan (a prophet of the Lord in King David’s time) brings conviction to the King with the exposure of the King’s sin. On a scale of human understanding, this “secret sin” really wasn’t that much of a secret anymore; David’s actions created a ripple effect into other’s lives that were far past that. The way in which his new life with Bathsheba had come about was one that he thought he had kept as a secret from those who he didn’t want to know. However, David couldn’t control that.
Instead he found himself in a reality that all people who try to hide sin do: trying to manage it and not be exposed. His words in Psalm 51 describe the conviction that Nathan’s confrontation brought about in him. They also show us that his repentance was not brought about because Nathan said “Shame on you!”. In fact, Nathan never uses that phrase. David discovered shame by stepping outside of himself and looking into another’s life (2 Sam 12:4-9). David’s conviction was now discovered, not manufactured.
God allows us to feel shame when we are convicted because it can spawn in us the need to have it healed by Him. When our sin is exposed, our personal feelings of shame serve as a painful reminder to us of the many reasons why God didn’t want us engaged in sin to begin with.
Praying points for today:
- I pray that God will use all of us who seek to follow Him, raise our families for Him and love as He has loved to live in this way – suppressing the shaming of ourselves so that we may be confident in the work He is doing in us (Philippians 1:6).
- I pray that God will use this foundation to search me of any wrongdoing that needs to be brought to light, free from fear. This way of living can be a beautiful foundational piece to keep ourselves from sinning in secret.
- I pray that I can treat others with compassion leading to conviction, regardless of their sin. I recognize that it is not my job to shame, but God’s job to heal it in all people’s lives.