Matters of Faith: A Public Victory, but a Private Failure!

1 Samuel 17:49, 2 Samuel 12:9 (KJV)

1 Sam. 17:49 “Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.”

2 Sam. 12:9 “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.”

I had the wonderful privilege of presenting a stewardship workshop for the Rev. Orlando Covington Men’s Ministry (ROC) of the Union Baptist Church this week. While there, I participated in a workshop conducted by their Pastor, Rev. Brian D. Scott. He not only peaked my interest with the title “Facing our Giants,” but challenged me personally with the statement that we can all have “public victories, but private failures.”

What struck me was the example of David, a man that God said was a man after his own heart (Acts 13:22). A man who inspired the story that practically every child from most cultural backgrounds is familiar with. David is man who was a hero in the eyes of his countrymen as the one who slew the giant named Goliath, and was paraded about as the warrior who killed tens of thousands of their enemies (1 Samuel 18:7). He was favored by God and crowned king over all of Israel.

These public displays of adoration and acclaim were well deserved, yet there was another side of David that few knew about. David was privately a liar, an adulterer, a murderer and a conniver. David thought he had gotten away with his sin until Nathan showed up and exposed him.

No one is immune to the public victory/private failure condition. It’s a part of the human experience. David had all the things he could want or need and would have been given more had he asked (2 Sam. 12:7), yet he desired and literally took what didn’t belong to him; another man’s wife and then, had him killed.

When confronted with the reality of his misdeeds, David humbled himself, confessed his sins and repented. God was gracious to David and did not kill him for the offenses committed, but the consequences of his deeds had an immediate and lasting impact on his family for years to come. David compromised his integrity and it cost him dearly (2 Samuel 12:16-19).

I was challenged by this topic and wanted to extend the challenge to you. You can’t hide behind public victories when you have private failures. Have you been compromising your integrity; outwardly celebrating public victories while covering up private failures? Have you made a private decision to engage in activities and actions that if made public could ruin your reputation, your status, your family stability and possibly your life?

Remember David and his private failures and note that not all giants are physical like Goliath; some are moral, and others are spiritual, but all of them must be slain. Because private failures can have devestating consequences, in what ways can we celebrate publically our victories and avoid the pit falls of private failures?

Be Blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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