BEING TOO HARD ON YOURSELF
So Peter went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:62)
A lot of us are a lot harder on ourselves than God is. We do wrong and we beat ourselves up over it. We get so disgusted at our failures that we bring condemnation on our heads that God never intended us to have. Conviction . . . yes, but condemnation . . . no. Romans 8:1 says that’s not of God. But Satan loves to rub our nose in the mud and to keep us in a down state saying we aren’t worthy because we constantly blow it. We love the Lord but sometimes we feel like giving up because we fail to measure up. How do we deal with that feeling that comes over us?
You and I need to study the apostle Peter’s life so we can be encouraged. He made this big promise to God: "Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death." (Luke 22:33) How many pledges have we made to the Lord like this? We tell the Lord we’ll work harder, have more spiritual discipline, and not fall again. But how did the Lord answer Peter and how would the Lord answer us? Then He said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me." (Luke 22:34) You see, the Lord knows we’re going to fall even before we actually do. Like the Bible says: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Pro 16:18)
How did the Lord deal with Peter? Was He hard on him? Did He rub it in? No, no, no. The Bible says this:
-(Luke 22:61) And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
-(Luke 24:34) saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"
-(John 21:15) So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."
A look of love, a special resurrection appearance, an emphasis on a loving relationship. That’s how the Lord dealt with Peter. And that’s how He will deal with us. Don’t be so hard on yourself. God loves you and where sin abounds grace does much more abound (Rom 5:20).