As King, David abused his power manipulating a woman, Bathsheba, to commit adultery with him then murdering her husband and putting her through an enormous amount of emotional turmoil simply because he could. He wasn’t concerned with what was best for Bathsheba. However, after his confession to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord”, I think he realized something during his seven days of fasting and prayer and he took responsibility for his actions. David understood that Bathsheba was in a lot of pain, and he was to blame for it. Though he couldn’t undo what had happened yesterday, he decided to take steps today to make a different tomorrow. “Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife” (2 Samuel 12:24).  I’m sure this time of comforting involved some apologies and some sincere promises. What’s notable here is that David stopped thinking of himself and began thinking of someone else.

Taking responsibility for your actions includes taking care of the people you’ve hurt. If you have failed as a father, as a husband, as an employer, as a friend, now is the time to stop thinking of yourself and start thinking about how you can serve the people in your life. You can say, "I realize I haven’t been the best father in the world, but what can I do today that will help my children? I realize I’ve been a lousy husband, but what can I do today to give my wife some encouragement? I know that I've been a fair-weather friend, so how can I help those close to me endure the storms they're currently facing?"

The evidence of true repentance is not that you spend days in sack cloth and ashes. The evidence of true repentance is that you come out of the experience with a desire to take care of others, especially those you’ve hurt in the past.

I would hope that you never experience the despair that David experienced in the wake of his sinful behavior with Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Samuel 11). But the fact is that we’re all human, and we’re all bound to fall at some point in time. Even a righteous man falls seven times (Proverbs 24:16). And though your sins may not be "as bad" as David’s — they are destructive nonetheless. As ugly as sin is, it is not more powerful than God’s grace. You can be forgiven. You can survive the failure of sin. It is essential for there to be a time of concern for the needs of others, in which you focus on the needs of those around you, and you do what you can to give them comfort and peace.


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