NATHAN: THE FRIEND WHO SHOWERS YOU WITH COLD WATER, THEN GIVES YOU A WARM HUG.
“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.” – John Churton Collins
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” – Proverbs 27:6
What is a real friend to you?
Someone who treats you to Gong-cha milk tea every now and then?
Someone who lends you his Galaxy Note every time you ask?
Someone who lets you borrow money?
Someone who always agrees with what you want even if it hurts God?
Or maybe someone who will plant seeds of love in your heart, so when the time comes that you break God’s heart, he/she can be honest with you and lovingly tell you, “What you did was wrong.”
Life is so much easier to face when you have a trusted and dependable friend (not just a dog, but human) who will love you enough to accept you for who you are but will not let you remain just the way you are.
When David had finally succeeded king Saul to the throne, he faced one of the greatest temptations in his life that caused him to fall into sin – he committed adultery and murder. He thought he was able to get away with it. No one would dare correct the king.
But there was someone who wouldn’t let this pass…
Nathan was David’s trusted adviser. His name means gift.
2 Samuel 12:1 — The Lord sent Nathan to David…
Maybe we’re perennial liars.
Maybe we said bad things about someone.
Maybe we’re in a wrong relationship.
Maybe we’ve become proud and boastful and we think the whole world revolves around us.
Maybe we’re doing something of which we are ashamed because we know it hurts God, but we continue to do it anyway.
May the Lord send a Nathan to us…
…who will give us that much-needed loving wake up call
…who will correct us, rebuke us, teach us, guide us.
…who will not condemn us but encourage us to go back to God.
…who will speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
…who will encourage us and build us up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
…who will pray for us.
…who knows us inside out.
…who is a true friend. A gift.
It never feels like a gift at that moment. It hurts to hear the truth about how wrong we are, how deep we’ve fallen. But it’s exactly what we need so that we can get back up again, learn from our mistakes, change, and do better. By knowing and accepting the truth, we no longer have to live in hiding, and we can experience real freedom and the beauty of living.
2 Samuel 12: 13 — Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin.
In his book, 11 indispensable relationships you can’t live without, Leonard Sweet gives an interesting insight about having an “Accountability Partner”:
I have never liked the whole accountability theme…
First, the world of “accounting” is a foreign territory for someone who never did like math and never could balance a checkbook. Besides, “accounting” concerns focus on the world of numbers and finance, not relationships… Paul…warns that love “keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Second, the person who is the first to volunteer to be my accountability partner…is the very person I most want to flee from. These “volunteers” seem to hate not only the sin, but also the sinner….
Third…it is too easy to keep double books: one book for your accountability team, and another secret book for yourself.
The accountability mentality is constantly on the lookout for offenses: monitoring others for sins and trespasses.
Accountability is designed to prevent you from doing bad.
Editability is designed to help you do good.
“Are you editable?”
Surround yourself with a Nathan. It’s not just a gift. It’s healthy for our souls.