THE SERVANT GENERAL
FAILING IN HOLINESS – 3
2 Samuel 12:1-17
Nathan the prophet told David a parable about a rich man who
oppressed a poor man (2 Sm 12:1-4). David grew angry with
the rich man and said he deserved death (2 Sm 12:5). “Then
Nathan said to David: ‘You are the man!’”
(2 Sm 12:7). David must have been utterly shocked. But he
accepted his vile deeds and repented. “I have sinned
against the Lord.” (2 Sm 12:13a).
Christians, including leaders, oftentimes see clearly the
wrong of others but not their own. They condemn the wrongdoing
of others but miss their own sin. I have seen this happen
countless times. In trying to bring reconciliation to two
warring leaders, both sides often see the splinter in the
other’s eye but miss the plank in their own. And when
they persist in their points of view, then there is no reconciliation,
and perhaps even greater animosity occurs.
the proper response is to not focus on the other’s sin
but to see and admit one’s own sin. God, like Nathan
his prophet, sees after all. Then one can look to the response
of God in turn. “For his part, the Lord has removed
your sin. You shall not die.” (2 Sm 12:13b). What sweet
words for a warrior to hear!
What should be the proper posture of a servant leader, a holy
warrior, whenever he is confronted with his wrongdoing (even
if the other party, he thinks, has done a greater wrong)?
it is primarily between him and God, and only secondarily
between him and the other party. If he has had a part in the
strife, then he looks to what he is accountable to God for,
not what the other party is accountable for. He is called
to be holy. To be holy is to be without anger or animosity
toward a brother or fellow holy warrior. “A clean heart
create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.”
(Ps 51:12). God’s heart only has self-sacrificial love
and mercy, and is ever forgiving.
one must realize that anger and animosity poison the heart.
The choice then is what to fill our hearts withGod’s
love and mercy, or our own anger and animosity? This makes
the difference between a holy and an unholy warrior. It will
determine whether we remain in the embrace of God or lose
our anointing. “Do not drive me from before your face,
nor take from me your holy spirit.” (Ps 51:13). God
does not want to do that, but our sin will result in that.
one must keep focused on his mission as a holy warrior. The
army needs to remain united. There is only one enemy, and
it is not the other brother. There should be a willingness
to strive for reconciliation and unity, even at cost to oneself,
in order to preserve God’s favor and strengthen the
salvific mission. “Restore to me the gladness of your
salvation; uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Ps 51:14).
One must remain to be saved, and a holy warrior must persist
in the work of evangelization which leads to salvation for
unlike in the world where antagonists fight it out tooth and
nail, holy warriors show patience, tolerance, compassion,
forgiveness, mercy, love. Yes, to one’s enemy, especially
if that one is a fellow holy warrior. One is not to contribute
to the escalation of the conflict, but one is to speak and
act in ways that can even bring the other party to realizing
and admitting his own wrong. “I will teach the wicked
your ways, that sinners may return to you.” (Ps 51:15).
As we holy warriors travel in the barque of Peter, we can
expect violent squalls and waves breaking over the boat, seemingly
overwhelming us (Mk 4:37). But if Jesus is there with us,
then there is nothing to worry about. If we are built on the
Rock that is Christ, the winds and floods will buffet our
community but it will not collapse. That is, unless we ourselves
tear each other apart.
must put our faith in Jesus. Then there will be nothing to
fear. “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
(Mk 4:40). We must not be afraid to make ourselves vulnerable
whenever faced with disputes with other holy warriors. We
must not be afraid to confess our sins to God and to each
other. We must not be afraid to give in even as we think we
are in the right.
holy warriors we engage in brutal spiritual war. We will be
bruised and bloodied. But let us not bruise and bloody each
other.As we engage the real enemy, it will be glorious and
full of joy. “Rescue me from violent bloodshed, God,
my saving God, and my tongue will sing joyfully of your justice.”