What Do Your Mistakes Cost You?
Mistakes are part of life. We know that we’ll make them. If you are like me you dread the thought of doing something stupid in a moment and messing up years of intentionality. I recently read the book Blunder all about how smart people make dumb decisions. I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about the life of King David lately. There are so many incredible insights from his life alone. If you know the story, David’s biggest mistake is that he falls for a married woman named Bathsheba, sleeps with her, gets her pregnant, then has her husband killed in battle to cover it up and marry her himself. When Nathan the prophet comes to David he confronts him with the harsh reality of his mistake.
“Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.” 2 Samuel 12:9This story is now famous, beyond just religious circles. But for most of us, we read that story and it still seems like David gets off the hook pretty easily. The worst that comes from his mistake is that they lose their son that was conceived out of wedlock. But later, Bathsheba becomes the mother of Solomon, would later becomes another king of legend after David dies. It’s easy to overlook the pain of mistakes. But if you keep reading you get a glimpse that this mistake cost David more than just his son. In 2 Samuel 23 we learn that Uriah wasn’t just any soldier; he was one of David’s elite soldiers. The chapter chronicles the names of David’s mighty warriors. When we get to the end of names we read:
“…and Uriah the Hittite.Â There were thirty-seven in all.” 2 Samuel 23:39David is so deep in covering up his mistake that he willingly sacrifices one of his top thirty seven soldiers. Tragically, this could easily have been avoided. Had David acknowledged his error sooner he could have avoided Uriah’s death. Of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in his army, I’d imagine that a list of thirty sevenâ€”specifically namedâ€”means that they were something special. Yet I doubt David realized till much later the price of losing one of these men. What price have you paid for mistakes you are unwilling to admit? While it is understandable to want to move on from a mistake as soon as possible, the best course of action is to own up to it quickly. Only then can we stop the bleeding and move on toward healing.
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