October 10

Text: Matthew 26:75

And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, "Before a cock crows, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.  (NASB)

Memory can be a wonderful thing and a terrible thing.  The person who recalls only the pleasant experiences of life is idealistic in hurtful ways—that person often cannot deal with reality in effective ways.  The person who recalls only terrible experiences is depressed in hurtful ways—that person often lives in fear when there is no reason to be afraid.  Thus we each need to discover the balance in remembering pleasant and terrible experiences.

Many things can be said about Peter’s mistakes, but Peter (a) followed Jesus (b) with an astounding degree of devotion and loyalty.  Not many of us would exhibit Peter’s devotion!

Peter’s biggest enemy was Peter!  That is why he is so encouraging to so many!  He had no room for personal failure!  (Do you encourage others who make mistakes while, at the same time, you are incredibly hard on yourself?  Why do you think you are so different?)  With Peter, it was okay for others to fail, but it was not okay for him to fail.  He would have said, “Everyone else needs compassion but me.  I am too good to need compassion because I should never fail.”

However, Peter stared his failure in the face!  The rooster crowed, and he wept bitterly.  Our gut wrenching mistakes come from those moments when we disappoint ourselves.

Jesus knew who Peter was.  Peter had to learn who he was.  Learning who you are is often a jarring experience, especially when you hold yourself to a high standard.

Jesus knew who Peter was and loved him anyway.  Jesus’ love is not based on our opinion of ourselves.

What do you do when the rooster crows?

Suggestion for reflection: How do you handle your failures?  (Read 1 Peter 2:1-10.)

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