Pushing Past the Shame
"And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly." (Luke 22:61, 62)
The Easter sermon contained the message I've been needing to hear. It was the story of Peter. We all know Peter as the one who denied Christ three times. One of Christ's chosen ones...and he openly denied his relationship at a critical time, after giving his word to Jesus he would never do so.
I know Peter had tremendous guilt, and he wept bitterly over his mistake. I needed to be reminded he went on to lead thousands to Christ after this memorable event. Take a look at the eloquent message from Acts 2.
A couple of weeks ago, a conversation included "I thought you were a better person than that" and some other words that made me feel pretty low. Whether it was truth or not is beside the point. It hurt because not only did I fail to meet expectations of the party involved, to this person I set a very poor example of the person I strive to be.
I've not been able to come back to this blog and write an entry without feeling an overwhelming burden over the whole situation. How can I come back and write another entry to encourage someone else after I've set such a poor example myself?
Sharing another word from my pastor, Christians aren't sinless, they strive to sin less. Looking back over the passages I've been studying the past several months, God has shown me again and again how he used less than perfect people to do more than amazing things for his Kingdom.
Sarah laughed at God, and yet was blessed with a son in her old age that became the father of many nations. Saul murdered Christians then became one of the great encouragers to the churches. Then there was Peter.
What courage it must have taken for Peter to ask for forgiveness to not only his Lord, but to the other disciples. I'm sure they were upset. Can you imagine the courage it took the first time he stood again to proclaim the gospel message?
I'm still praying for the wisdom on how to address this situation. I pray for the ability to put the guilt behind and move forward with a positive attitude. Perhaps this conversation was the reminder I may have needed that when you don't think what you are doing matters to any one, there are always those who have their eyes fixed on you.
I'm far from perfect, but I am forgiven. It won't be the last time I screw up. Thankfully my father forgives me even when I can't let go of my mistakes.
Have you let something you have done stop you from pursuing the calling of God? He who calls us to it will forgive us through it. Thank God for that!