“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your wordsand blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” – Psalm 51: 1-6

Wouldn’t it be great if we could meet David? It would be an extraordinary experience for sure. If we only had a DeLorean equipped with a flux capacitor. Even a few minutes with him would be great. Why? Because he killed Goliath. He killed lions and bears. He was a man after God’s own heart. He fled when he was the rightful king. He showed grace to Saul. He loved his son Absalom when Absalom wanted him dead. And finally, out of his lineage came our Savior, Jesus Christ. David was a biblical rock star.

But as with the case with so many larger than life figures in the Bible, David also had some items in the negative side of the ledger. He committed murder and adultery. In fact, David had struggle after struggle. Many of those struggles were his own fault. He sinned greatly, like many of the people we cherish in Scripture. Yet, he discovered that God is gracious beyond what he deserved.

Throughout the Bible, God used people in spite of, and after their greatest of failures. Simon Peter preached his greatest message and had his greatest ministry after he denied the Lord. Samson sinned against God, yet he slew more Philistines in the end of his life than he had during his entire ministry. Abraham lied, yet he was used by God. There are many others that we could add to this short list. But these are sufficient to show that the Lord can take those who have failed in the past and that He can still use them for His glory today, and into the future.

Paul was on his way to Damascus to find Christians to arrest and to take them to their deaths. He was filled with hatred and wanted nothing more than to completely destroy anyone or anything connected with the name of Jesus Christ. Yet, in spite of all this, the Lord was able to change this man and to use him for the glory of God.

God can do the same thing in your life and mine. He can take us, with all the baggage that we carry, and He can use us for His glory. We all bring certain liabilities to the table. Some have the tendency to stray from the truth like Abraham. Others are filled with pride like David. God is able to take us exactly where we are, change what needs to be changed and then use us to further His kingdom.

Despite David’s sin, he was always a man after God’s own heart. People would always judge him for his actions, but God always loved him for who he was. And he loves us for who we are and in spite of our failures or shortcomings.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Everyone has shortcomings, failures in life. The question is do these failures or shortcomings keep us from being used by God?
  2. What prevents us from being used by God?
  3. Why as Christians do we continue to make mistakes and why do we struggle to confess our failures?
  4. Sometimes we live in our own little stories of life rather than God’s story. What does this mean and how does this hinder us from being part of what God is doing in the lives of others.
  5. Pray and ask God to help you use your gifts to further His kingdom.