You’ve blown it.
You did something you didn’t think you would ever do.
The guilt is killing you. You’re agonizing over the way those who care about you are going to react. You’re beating yourself up over the way you allowed a bad decision to “look” appropriate at the time and now you’re having a hard time thinking about anything else and you would give anything to be able to go back in time and undo what’s been done.
But you can’t.
It’s hard to look at an older picture of you smiling and not ache, wishing the cloud that’s hanging over your heart right now would just somehow give way to the sunshine of a better time and a clear conscience.
How does this get better? How do you process this in a way that doesn’t make a bad situation even worse?
The first thing you do is own it.
When David had his affair with Bathsheba, he didn’t seem to have any problem with what he did with her or the way in which he had her husband murdered at the time. It wasn’t until Nathan confronted him when he suddenly realized the significance of what he had done and you can see that in the way he said, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Sam 12:13)
He owned it.
Scripture doesn’t go into any detail, but I’m thinking he probably had to make things right with Uriah’s family along with Bathsheba’s parents and siblings. You can only imagine the tension and the range of emotions that characterized those conversations…
But he didn’t keep it inside, he didn’t conceal it. When Nathan told him what was coming as a result of his sin, he didn’t push back. He accepted the consequences of his actions and because he took responsibility for his decisions, he was able to move forward along with everyone else that was impacted by his indiscretions.
Here’s the thing: Are there consequences to your actions?
Urial was still dead, David was now an adulterer. That’s on your resume and it doesn’t come off simply because you’re “sorry.”
So how do you process this in a way where the guilt that you feel over what you’ve done as well as the way in which some will treat you because of your sin doesn’t continually haunt you?
And this is an important piece! Grace is more than just a therapeutic.
Now, for those who are among those whose forgiveness is being sought – those who’ve been shattered and hurt by the actions of the person you trusted – you’ve got to “own it” as well.
By “owning it,” I’m not suggesting that you hold yourself responsible for the decisions that were made.
At some point, every individual is responsible for the choices they make. While there’s always room for improvement, it’s a fool’s errand to rehearse what could’ve been handled differently beyond a certain point.
Right now, you have one of two choices: You can either be the friend, sibling or the parent that the “guilty” party needs you to be or you can be a tool in the hands of the enemy as he labors to make the hole that’s been dug even deeper.
Remember: God chose to make you aware of what’s happened at this particular point in time. He chose to make you aware. This could’ve been something that was hidden or never confessed and the fact that you’re being made aware of it is your cue to recognize God’s Providence and know that with this news comes a responsibility to be the Voice and the Hand of Christ.
Yes, it hurts and it’s both healthy and necessary to let those feelings be experienced, but in line with Ephesians 4:26.
The person who’s sharing this news with you is doing so because they’ve got a broken wing and they want to fly again.
2 Corinthians 7:10 says:
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Cor 7:10)
Whatever mistake or decision has been made, with God’s Grace everyone is getting more than a therapeutic, they’re getting a healing and restoration. But God’s grace has to be evident in you in order for all that to be not just heard, but to be genuinely known and felt (Jn 10:23). If they’re going to fly, then you need to make a point of praying that God would allow you to process things and proceed with His Eyes, His Heart and and His Hand. Only then is that wing repaired and they can get back in the air.
Don’t avoid it, don’t respond to it in anger, own it and let God work!
Make it Right
When David was confronted with the Reality of what he had done, he didn’t just say he was sorry, he demonstrated his remorse in actions. When his son, Absalom, rebelled, David wasn’t indignant. Instead, he accepted what was happening as the punishment God had specified (2 Sam 16:5-14).