“Nathan realized his job was done. He had delivered the message. The results belonged to God. . . . God would take it from there. What a picture of God’s marvelous grace. His work, done His way, accomplishes His purposes for His glory.”- Charles Swindoll
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.”- 2 Samuel 12:13 (NLT)
Charles Swindoll concludes Chapter 4 of What If . . . God Has Other Plans? with six principles that emerge from the story of Nathan and David. They help us to confront others in a biblical way.
1. Let God lead. Nathan didn’t volunteer because he thought he and King David needed to talk. Rather, the Lord sent Nathan to confront the king. Since the Lord commanded and directed Nathan to go, he didn’t set himself up as judge and jury.
2. Choose your timing carefully. Note that Nathan didn’t knock on David’s door right after his affair with Bathsheba. Or two days after Uriah’s murder. Instead, Nathan waited to see if David’s conscience caused him to repent. Hence, Pastor Swindoll adds, “Pray. Seek God’s wisdom. Ask the Lord to go before you and prepare the other person’s heart. You’ll never regret choosing your timing wisely.
3. Speak the truth lovingly. Refuse to allow hearsay to inform your need to confront. Rather, speak the truth without exaggerating or assuming. Above all, verify your information and arm yourself with precise facts.
4. Use wise words. Nathan took the time to think through what he said to David. As a result, he worded his story carefully and delivered it wisely.
5. Always offer hope. As Pastor Swindoll counsels, feel free to weep – allow the emotion to flow. However, while emotions must not control you, authentic transparency helps facilitate bringing down the walls of resistance. Furthermore, even through tears, there’s always hope.
6. Leave the results with God. Finally, the author advises, it’s not your job to function as the offender’s conscience or track their every move. Although you may continue to pray, in all other respects your job is done.
Today’s question: What Bible verses declare the marvelous grace of God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “In retaliatory mode – and garbled facts to boot”