Epic Fail? :: Moral Failure

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Sunday, November 6th

There’s a reason the saying, “To err is human,” exists — we all make mistakes. However, there’s a big difference between letting mistakes become a pattern versus allowing God to turn those mistakes into lessons from which we can heal and grow. So what perspective can we gain about the times we’ve had moral failures?

Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family to talk through what you’re learning!


  1. What’s a situation where you know, looking back, that you made a choice that was morally wrong? How did that play out for you? How did you feel about that decision after the fact?
  2. Read 2 Samuel 11:1-4. Reflecting on mistakes you’ve made, are there any choices you’d make differently to avoid putting yourself in those situations? How can that wisdom apply to your present circumstances?
  3. Read 2 Samuel 11:5-22. In your experience, has one wrong led to another? How have you tried to cover up your wrongdoings? How did those situations play out for you?
  4. Read 2 Samuel 12:1-13 & Psalm 51. When you are called out on your shortcomings, are you able to own up to them, or do you justify your actions? Is there anything you need to confess to God as David did?
  5. Read 2 Corinthians 7:10. Are you the kind of person who lives life with no regrets, or do you have a list of them a mile long? Does regret, or sorrow, usually lead you to change your patterns and decisions?
  6. Even though David experienced painful consequences for his actions, God forgave and blessed him. Can you think of a time when God redeemed a sinful choice you made, bringing good out of evil?


2 Samuel 11:1-4 — In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites… However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her…Then she returned home.

2 Samuel 11:5-22 — Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.” Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the army were getting along and how the war was progressing. Then he told Uriah, “Go on home and relax…” But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife… So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. The letter instructed Joab,“Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed….” When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.

2 Samuel 12:1-13 — So the lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” David was furious. “As surely as the lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!… For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin.

Psalm 51 — A David Psalm, After He Was Confronted by Nathan About the Affair with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight… Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me… Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God….

2 Corinthians 7:10 — For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!


Scripture if filled with stories about how God redeemed those who had huge moral failures. Dig deeper by exploring some of these stories.

  • The Rest of David’s Story — 2 Samuel 11-24, 1 Kings 1-2:12
  • Abraham’s Story — Genesis 12-22
  • Samson’s Story — Judges 13-16

Instead of inviting people into his life for accountability, King David sent his closest friend and adviser away into battle for him. So God revealed David’s sin to the prophet, Nathan, who then called him out in a very public way. When we’re not willing to be vulnerable about our brokenness with someone we trust, our mistakes can own us.

This week, think of someone you could develop a closer relationship with, and begin to create the kind of friendship where you can be real with someone who won’t let you stay stuck in a cycle of moral failure.


Learn more about dealing with your epic fails by working through the CONFESSION outcome.