Regarding the past transgressions of public figures, some people make statements like “God called David a great leader and a man after his own heart. Don’t judge only their past. Forgive and see the good.”
Forgiveness is indeed central to gospel. Jesus did say that in order for us to be forgiven we must forgive those who sin against us.
Let us not forget however that repentance is also important. In order to be forgiven we need to acknowledge our sin and repent. God brings our sins to light, either privately or publicly, for the very purpose that we may repent and be cleansed through His mercy.
God’s judgment and mercy work together so that sin may be cleansed and reconciliation achieved.
Let’s take a closer look at David’s heart.
When David sinned and tried to keep it secret, God sent the prophet Nathan to judge him (2 Samuel 12:7-12).
When confronted, David acknowledged his sin and repented. However, there were still consequences for his sin.(2 Samuel 12:13-15).
David’s prayer of repentance for the sin is recorded in Psalm 51.
This is an example of how through repentance and forgiveness, our Heavenly Father delivers us from the power of evil.
If the heart is not cleansed through repentance, the result is denial, defiance, and lies. A person acting from such a heart is still not free from the power of evil.
It is good to be just and loving, but please don’t use the Bible to excuse sin.