“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” (John 18:17).
I can totally relate with Peter, because I can recall the times in my life as a Christian when I have thought, “This following Jesus thing is just too hard. I don’t want to lay down my life for others. I just want to do what’s good for me today.” I find this most often manifests itself in my life when I am anxious, worried, angry or afraid. My chaotic heart tries to convince me that God is unfair and that following Him is somehow futile.
I think if we could all be honest, we’re all just like Peter. Even though we give him a bad rap sometimes, if we were really honest with ourselves, we’d see a lot of his insecurities in our own lives. We’d see his fear and impulsiveness in our own hearts. The problem is, we’re too busy pointing out all of his faults, and other people’s for that matter, so we have a difficult time seeing the Peter in us.
I would like to say that I would never deny Christ. That I would follow Him unto my death. Staying faithful to Him each step of the way. But when I reflect on my life and my faithfulness towards Jesus I see in my own heart that I sometimes have a hard time submitting to Jesus in the small things of life.
“Love your neighbor as yourself”
“Defend the cause of the poor and the widow.”
“In humility consider others better than yourselves.”
Sometimes I’d rather just hunker down on my couch and read a book than being engaged in the call to go and love people with my time, energy and heart. I have a tendency to get into tunnel vision mode, focusing on what is best for me. I often think about my own needs above someone else’s. I don’t do much to defend the poor, needy and destitute.
I think we live in a culture, sadly, where we believe that sharing a Facebook post, along with our strong opinions about something is making a difference. I think, in many ways, we’re wasting our time.
Jesus went and LOVED people. He called them to a different life. He rebuked them in His Father’s love. He didn’t sit in the temple, complaining to anyone who would listen about all the injustice around him. Instead, He confronted injustice, upheld those who were being oppressed and brought hope to them in the midst of their suffering. He went to the highways and byways, street corners, rooftops and everywhere in between to love people. Maybe that’s what made Jesus so attractional.
Ministry is not best lived out inside of our homes or behind a desk, stuck in an office. Ministry is going outside of our homes, offices, and out from behind our desks to be the sweet aroma of Christ to everyone we meet. When we listen to someone’s story, we build trust with them that initiates an opportunity to share the gospel with them, for Gods great glory.
Lord, I’m a lot like Peter. I get anxious. I become afraid. I want to believe that I’d follow you unto death, but sometimes I have a hard time submitting to the small things of life. I want to live for you and for others. Jesus, use my life for your great glory and forgive me for my selfishness, Amen.