When you’ve failed, what’s more natural for you — to deny your failure, or to claim it? Here Peter’s example shows the good that can come from failure. (This is an excerpt from the NIV Life Journey Bible by doctors John Townsend and Henry Cloud.) -Adam Forrest
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.
When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time.
Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept. -Mark 14:66-72
Mistakes are not the end
Peter had failed profoundly. Rather than stand up and publicly state his allegiance for his endangered Lord and friend, Peter denied knowing Jesus. And though this failure was significant, it was not final. Peter grew from his mistakes, and Jesus reinstated him [see John 21:15-19]. By all Biblical and historical accounts, the restored Peter was a tremendous leader in the early church.
We need to embrace failure when it occurs. People who spend their lives trying to avoid or deny failure are also eluding maturity. The Bible is full of examples of faithful stumblers who through perseverance and love of God became mature people…
Perhaps that is why God decided to include people who failed as examples to us of faith. When we are growing, we are drawn to individuals who bear battle scars, worry furrows and tear marks on their faces. Their lessons can be trusted much more than the unlined faces of those who have never failed — and so have never truly lived.
Learn more about The NIV Life Journey Bible: Find the Answers for Your Whole Life
Postscript: It seems that when Christ offers forgiveness to Peter, Peter had the option to reject it. Peter could have said, “No Lord, I don’t deserve to be forgiven or to be a part of your church.” But Peter did accept Christ’s grace… Is there an area of your life where you need to ask for and accept Christ’s grace?
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