Have you ever been sternly rebuked? Have you ever convicted yourself of doing wrong? How much do you actually appreciate the person who rebukes you? When you are in the moment, it can be very hard to appreciate what the person is telling you, and understand the difficulty that comes with them telling you about your fault. David is an example of someone who took criticism of what he was doing well when he deserved it. In 2 Samuel 11, David takes Bathsheba as a wife and kills her husband Uriah who was faithful to David. In chapter 12, Nathan rebukes David and has him convict himself by using a parable. David could not appreciate the criticism in the moment, nor could he understand how difficult it likely was for Nathan to go and tell him his fault. Nathan was not a high-ranking officer in David’s court, nor did he carry and relation to David that we know of. Nathan probably understood that if things went sour, David could have had him executed for pointing out the king’s flaw.
In Matthew 7:12 we are given the golden rule. This does not strictly apply to the matters of treating people the way that you want to be treated, but rather this has a focus, in the context, on spiritual matters. We all want a brother or sister in Christ to help keep us walking on the straight and narrow, but how often are we willing to point out a sin in a brother’s or sister’s life? When I was about 12 I was spiritually adopted by a strong older Christian who told me “If you keep me in check, I will help keep you in check.” This was one of the nicest things that I was told, but I did not understand it when I was younger. We all need to both be Nathan’s and we all need to have Nathan’s so that more of us can receive the eternal reward for which we are striving.