Monday, July 23, 2007

Peter's Fatal Flaw

Matthew 26:33 (New International Version)
33 Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

This morning it leapt off the page at me--Peter's fatal flaw--self confidence.

But how often do I go into the day confident in my own strength, common sense, wisdom, self control and knowledge?

While I may have these qualities--in varying degrees on any given day--I am learning that there is a far better way to live. That way is in utter reliance, moment by moment, on God.

The battles of self that I have faced most recently, were not won, and will not be won, by human strategy or resolve, but by acknowledging my utter weakness and dependence on God.

Making my struggles a public thing has been helpful. Taking it out into the open, removes my tendency towards self reliance (maybe this book has the answer), rationalization (maybe it's not so bad) and procrastination (I'll start tomorrow).

I can't say that I know the personal struggles of many of the people I see at church each week-- and I don't think I need to know them all--but each of us needs to be known as fully as possible by a few good spiritual friends.

Accountability--voluntarily and honestly giving an account to someone brings me into a place of greater safety.

I wonder what Jesus felt as he heard Peter's quick, confident declaration of solidarity. I am sure he must have experienced a wave of deja vu. Peter was quick to speak and slow to listen--just like me.

If only he had listened and considered what Jesus was saying--if he had acknowledged that he was anything but solid--the boundless resources of Jesus's strength would have been his--a truth he would discover later. And these are the resources that are ours.

1 Peter 5:10-11 (New International Version)
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

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