FAILURE DOES NOT DEFINE US
LUKE 22:60-62 NKJ
60 But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are saying!"
Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
If anyone could have felt like an absolute failure, it would have been Peter.
Peter was one of the three disciples who were closest to the Lord. He was in the inner circle. When the most amazing things were happening, Peter was there. When the disciples were speaking, it was typically Peter who had the loudest voice. When the discussion was who was to be the greatest, Peter's name was always mentioned.
And for Peter to go from one of the greatest revelations in the New Testament, Jesus as the Christ, to denying that he even knew Jesus is a massive fail. And a massive blow to Peter's psyche. And any way you slice it, a massive failure.
Luke tells us that after Peter had denied Jesus the third time and the rooster crowed, Jesus turned and looked at Peter. And for Peter, that look was most likely the most difficult thing of all. Jesus knew. And Peter knew that Jesus knew of his failure. So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
If this was the last we heard of Peter in the New Testament, we could surmise that failing Jesus is the ultimate failure from which there is no recovery. But this is not the end of Peter's story.
Peter would later affirm his love for Jesus personally. And it was Peter who stood up and preached on the day of Pentecost. Peter was a main leader in the early church and used of God to bring the gospel to gentiles. Peter wrote two letters that became part of scripture and gave his life as a martyr for Christ. Peter may have failed, but he was anything but a failure.
Even the mighty fail and make mistakes. But what separates the winners from those who give up is how they define failure.
Those who win and overcome in this life are those who view failure as a temporary setback, not a life-defining moment.
So, be like Peter. Confess and receive God's forgiveness and get back in the race. The body of Christ needed Peter to fulfill his role, and we need you to fulfill yours. Heaven will rejoice, and we will be glad.
Thank you, Father, for Your grace and forgiveness and chances to win again. Failure does not define me.