Testimony of a Flawed Mentor

  • Harold Westing
  • Feb 1, 2002

In 2 Samuel 22 we hear David praising God as he reflects on how God's strong hand intervened for him in Saul's endless pursuit to take his life. In this climactic psalm he lists many grand details of how God had intervened for him in his victory over Saul. Then comes the big surprise. We read in verses 22-25 about how righteous he has been on this journey. "I have not done evil.... I have been blameless before him.... and I have kept myself from sin." Anyone familiar with David's life journey in which his numerous sins are recorded, may be shocked to hear David summarize his life in such a revered fashion. Wow, how would God allow a man to speak in such a holy fashion in his later years as he prepares to meet his God? Yes, God calls him a "man after His own heart," but could God be so blind as to overlook the fact that he has been engaged in three major societal sins and has broken all the Ten Commandments? We have confidence in a God who does not turn His back against sin in His Word. But why does he allow this seeming contradiction to be recorded in His infallible Word? 

The answer to what appears to be a blind spot is clarified in David's statement in vs. 22, "I have kept the ways of the lord; I have not done evil by turning from my God." No doubt he is speaking of his obedience in keeping the "way of God" by facing up to his depravity. This includes repenting of his waywardness in Ps. 51. His retirement song of praise is also recorded in Psalm 18. Rather than being a blind spot, it is the Bible's greatest testimony of how our faithful God forgets all of our sins and remembers them no more. God could use him greatly and can use us as well as long as we keep practicing "His ways."

All honest mentors ought to struggle with their depravity to the extent that they wonder how God could ever allow them to be a mentor or role-model. The fact is that we should not be mentors unless we continually face up to the sin of our deceitful hearts. The first and foremost prerequisite for being mentors is just that. We must acknowledge our depravity before God and to others as ordered in His Word, then deal with it according to "His ways." Then we too can praise God that we stand blameless before Him.

Every mentoree needs to hear his/her mentor(s) talk about how they have experienced God's grace and forgiveness. Failure to do so may only lead them to believe their mentors are blind to their depravity. When David says in vs. 26,  "To the faithful you show yourself faithful," he, no doubt, is acknowledging that God blotted out his sin sufficiently that He actually sees David standing perfectly before Him. Keep expressing that kind of spirit before your mentorees. Then they can understand how sinful, flawed mentors can lead them in their pursuit of holiness.