Peter’s tale of failure scares us. It seems too close to our own, sometimes.
However, Peter’s story can encourage us when we realize what we can learn from it.
Jesus told Peter that after he had denied Him, he would return to the truth, and that then he was to encourage his brethren. (Luke 22:32)
If we follow Jesus, we are Peter’s brethren.
So what can we learn?
Failure Is Not Fatal IF . . . We recognize that everyone fails. Nobody is perfect and everyone sins. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
We have all fallen short. I have fallen short. You have fallen short.
Thank God that He forgives our “falling shorts”. (Okay, you can laugh, here. This is one of my husband’s favorite funnies.) Morally, we all have “falling shorts”, those failures and sins that leave us embarrassed. We did NOT mean to sin, however, we did. We all miss the mark.
“There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20
“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” James 3:2
We start out well.
We have wonderful, amazing intentions.
We are excited and we want to succeed in the faith.
We have a desire to be faithful disciples of the Lord.
Yet, we become fearful and distracted from the faith.
We allow the wrong influences into our lives.
Then we make a bad decision and consequently we sin against our Lord.
Guilt and shame replace the joy of our salvation.
The truth about us appears in Romans 7:18-25:
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
“So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”
When we let go of the perfection obsession, the fear of failure loses its grip on our lives.
Therefore, Failure Is Not Fatal IF… We recognize that everyone fails.
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