Grace and Peace to you.
Once upon a time Nathan told king David about a rich man who robbed his poor neighbor. David was appropriately outraged. Then Nathan said, “You are that man.” Had David been King Henry VIII he would have beheaded Nathan. But David was willing to listen, partly because he respected Nathan, and partly because he knew that Nathan was right: he had raped and murdered. He was guilty. At least he was sane enough to hear it.
When we are angry at the sin we see in others it is often because we are projecting our discomfort about our own sin. We judge most harshly in others what we ourselves are guilty and afraid of.
Pray for the gift of wisdom and self-awareness. Pray for the grace to listen fearlessly to criticism. Pray for the patience to learn the truth about yourself so that you may grow. Pray for God’s love to uphold you when you feel the horror of realizing that “you are than man.”
Pray for blessing for the Nathans who are willing to tell you when you’re out of bounds. Be grateful for them, for they are your best friend, just like a teacher who knows a student can do better.
Pray for the gift of humility, to examine yourself before you criticize others, to remember that no matter what injustice you speak out against, “you are that man:” you are no better than they.
Pray for the gift of courage, for the guts to be truthful, to confront injustice openly, to be honest with others about what you see and not to pretend in order to gain favor, protect yourself, or make people like you. Pray for the maturity to be free of the need for others to like you.
“You are that man.” You are David. You are also Nathan. Pray for the gift of desire for truth in the inner being, for the willingness to be transformed, and so to transform the world.