In ancient times, it was hard for rulers to find advisors who would tell them the truth as most feared for their lives if they said something to anger the king. Hence, most advisors told the king what they wanted to hear.
Not Nathan. Short for Elnathan (God has given), the prophet Nathan told the king the truth. He told David God did not want him to build the temple (2 Samuel 7:5-16). He reminded David he hadn’t yet kept his promise to crown Solomon as his successor (1 Kings 1:24-30). And it was Nathan who accused David of sinning against God when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and callously had one of his best generals — her husband — murdered, so he could be with her. (2 Samuel 12)
David could have killed Nathan for telling him so. Instead, David repented, and Nathan assured his king of God’s forgiveness.
Telling the truth — even when hard to hear — was a hallmark of a prophet in Biblical times. Today, it’s just as hard to find someone to tell you the truth even when it’s hard to hear — a hallmark of true friendship today.