Do you ever feel like the world hates you? Because sometimes, I do. People misunderstand you. You make mistakes, people see it and they think it defines you. Do people know me as the girl who did that? How do I show my face in here again?
"Though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand."
Psalm 37:24 New International Version (NIV)
Have you ever felt like all you’ve done is mess up? Because I have. I make mistakes, though I probably should have learned my lesson from the first hundred I’ve made since coming to college. At times, I’ve found myself three steps behind where I need to be. More than once I’ve had to stop and step away from the situation in order to step closer to God. When those times come, like losing a battle, I retreat and find refuge in God’s word. There’s one story that I’ve returned to a few times, it’s about David.
In the Old Testament, 2 Samuel, chapter eleven, David commits adultery with Bathsheba. He saw her bathing on her roof, immediately was overwhelmed by how beautiful she was and acting as king, he ordered for her to be brought to him. They slept together, despite her being married, and she became pregnant. Instead of stopping there to realize his mistake, David took matters into his own hands in an attempt to fix the problem. He ordered for the woman’s husband to be sent to the frontline of battle knowing that he would be killed. The man was killed and David felt it was then, acceptable to marry Bathsheba.
Now, wait. You’re probably thinking, wasn’t David the one who killed Goliath with a stone? Didn’t he write most of the psalms? And do we not call David the man after God’s own heart? David sinned and he didn’t even realize it until God sent the prophet, Nathan, to tell him. David angered God and as a result, God took the child’s life.
Despite committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband killed, David still is the one that killed Goliath, he did write over seventy psalms, and in Acts, he is called a man after God’s heart.
“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” Acts 13:22 New International Version (NIV)
Just like David, we make horrible mistakes and they sometimes have horrible consequences. Can you imagine the amount of guilt David felt after his son died? Whenever I make a big mistake that I end up regretting, I always go back to read this story. Because when people hear of David, they don’t think of him as the man who committed adultery. They think of him as the man after God’s own heart, the man who wrote psalms, who was king, who was a shepherd boy, who brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and to whom God told “‘Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” 2 Samuel 7:16.
David messed up but people don’t know David solely by his mistake. When I mess up, it feels like all that people see is that and they don’t see who I actually am. Maybe that’s true, people are judgemental. However, I’m not the only one making mistakes in this world. When people look at me and see me making mistakes, they have no right to judge. Sure David sinned when he slept with Bathsheba, but we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. I don’t look at David as an adulterer. And I hope people don’t label me by the mistakes I've made.
"For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble then calamity strikes." Proverbs 24:16 New International Version (NIV)
This is life, stuff happens. Don’t let the guilt from your mistakes overwhelm you. Don’t be too ashamed to show your face. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone messes up and it has some effect on their reputation. I’m sure David regretted sleeping with Bathsheba and having her husband killed, but in the end, he had another child with her.
“And they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him.” 2 Samuel 12:24 New International Version (NIV)
I won’t deny that I’ve made a ton of mistakes since coming to college. I’ve messed up a little and I’ve messed up a lot. Even though people might judge me by what they’ve seen, I choose not to let their judgment define me. Even though the world might misunderstand, I know who I am and God does too.
“...But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” Philippians 3:13 New International Version (NIV)