For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
— Psalms 51:3
I try to picture David in the way that he says this, with an emphasis on “I know my transgressions.” If you don’t know David and Bathsheba’s story, David was quick to ignore the sin in his life. When Bathsheba informed David that she was pregnant, he quickly worked to cover up the mess. Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, would know something was amiss when he came home to a pregnant wife, so David invited him home early with hopes of getting him to sleep with Bathsheba. It turns out that Uriah is a noble man and wouldn’t accept the comfort of home while his men were away in battle, so David reverted to his next plan: to have Uriah head to the front lines, only to be abandoned and face death.
All the while, David doesn’t seem to recognize or care about his sinful decisions. It’s not until the prophet Nathan approaches David with a story of a poor man that lost his only lamb to a rich man that David becomes upset. At that point, Nathan informs David that he was that man. David finally feels remorse for the sins he committed and repents. David was blessed to have Nathan.
Do you have a Nathan in your life? Do you have someone willing to confront you in your sin? Do you have someone bold enough to lose the friendship to tell you the hard truth? David can say, “For I know my transgressions,” because Nathan pointed them out. We all need a Nathan in our life to help us see our blind spots and areas of weakness. Often, the people around us have a more accurate picture of our shortcomings than we do.
When I was in seminary, I would meet once a week at Chili’s near O’Hare Airport with my best friend for accountability purposes. His name was Dave, but I considered him my Nathan. He had the freedom to speak into my life and correct me in areas of weakness. I am unable to express how valuable this was for my relationship with Christ. David had Nathan. I had Dave. Who do you have that speaks into your life?