July 14, 2015

Nathan and David: Confrontation

2 Samuel 12:1-13

Nathan said to David, “You are the man!”

—  2 Samuel 12:7

It is never easy to tell someone we care about that they are wrong. It is even harder to have someone tell us that our own behavior is out of line.

Nathan knew that he had to give King David some difficult correction from God. He was probably nervous about how the powerful king would respond. Nathan chose a gentle way to help David understand the situation from another point of view. Nathan helped David to empathize with the person he had wronged.

Nathan mentored King David by helping him see where he had wandered from God’s law. He spoke the truth that needed to be spoken in a loving way. When we confront someone, it needs to be done with great compassion. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” We need not yell and scream as we call out bad behavior, because then we become a part of the problem. Instead we should use the mature approach, confronting with gentleness and kindness so that our words can be heard.

King David did not try to defend his sinful behavior; instead, he responded in penitence. His heart was softened to hear what he needed to hear. May we also hear God’s Word and respond in love to Christian mentors who guide us to follow Jesus more closely.

Lord, help us to care for each other enough to lovingly confront wrong behavior. May we mentor one another to live obediently for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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