Learning From Mistakes

“Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20).

There is a really sad story in 2 Samuel 11 of David who slept with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. When she became pregnant and David could not succeed in convincing Uriah to sleep with her to cover it up, he had him killed in battle. David then married Bathsheba and he perceived that no one knew what he had done. God revealed David’s sin to the prophet Nathan who confronted him about it. The consequence of David’s sin was that the son that Bathsheba bore to him died. David lamented in prayer and fasting before God to ask him to save the child. After the child died, David washed and anointed himself and went to the house of the Lord to worship.

David’s actions confused his servants as they did not understand how he could spend time in worship after losing his son. David did not blame God because he knew that his son’s death was the consequence of his sin. Nevertheless, David did not allow his mistake to separate him from the presence of God. He sought God to see if he would spare the child and even after the child died, he worshipped God. This showed that David understood the need for repentance and restitution. David knew enough to know that once he repented, that God would restore him in right standing.

This is why David said in Psalm 51, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). God sees our heart and he knows when we are truly sorry for our sins. We don’t need to wallow in self pity, guilt and shame any longer than necessary. Once we have acknowledged our sin, we make restitution where possible, confess our sins to God and rest in his forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

If you feel weighed down by guilt and shame due to making a mistake, confess to God your faults and failures. Repent of your sins and accept Gods forgiveness because God says that you are forgiven. “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” (Proverbs 24:16).


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