Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The True Me

How are you in times of great distress? Do you make your best choices? Say the most brilliant things? I know I don't. I can look back at moments of great grief or trauma in my life and I can't believe some of the things I've said, or didn't say. Some people have the gift of knowing just what to say at key, pivotal moments. I am not one of those people.

Neither was Peter. I always chuckle when I read how Peter interrupts Jesus' conversation with Moses and Elijah during that glorious moment on the Mount of Transfiguration. And, of course, he was the one who rashly cut off the servant's ear in the Garden of Gethsemane. Today I read with such heaviness in my heart for him as he denied even knowing Jesus. Repeatedly. And with cuss words.

After his denial of Christ, though, Matthew 26:75 records that Peter "went out and wept bitterly." John MacArthur's notes in my Bible this morning said something that I just love:

"The true Peter is seen not in his denial but in his repentance."

What a statement! A few years ago our teaching pastor pointed out that David's life, though filled with sin of every kind, was not characterized by sin, but rather characterized by brokenness and repentance. (And praise!) Sin is such a daily battle, isn't it? Praise God that our lives need not be characterized by our poor choices, bad decisions or rash words. But, the key is repentance. In the moment that Jesus made eye contact with Peter, he was brought to a place of brokenness and repentance. That's how he went from the Matt. 26 Peter to the bold, Spirit-filled Acts 4 Peter. The same can be true for me. I must make eye-contact with my Savior. Repentance is the key.

Even as Peter was in the midst of sinning against his Lord, Jesus was on His way to bear the punishment for it. I shared a few months ago a technique that I believe God gave me for prayer, to help me be thorough in my confession. It is based on the word "scars," because He bore those scars for me, and still bears them even as He sits at the right hand of the Father. I need to be reminded of this daily.

I know as I go throughout my day today I will sin, but oh how I pray that the true "me" will be seen in my repentance.


relevantgirl said...

okay, chica.

Here's the skinny.

You're coming with me to writers group tonight. 7:30. At our dear church. Just come and listen. You are a writer, whether you like it or not.

So git!

Laurel Wreath said...

I always said my middle name should be Peter because I can relate soooo much to him.

Thank you for the wonderful words when life is a distress for me right now. I needed the reminder.


Tammy said...

This was SO beautiful, Cyndi!
I love this so much...and it is so beautifully written.

I always felt a kinship with both Peter and David...even though my life wouldn't be catagorized with outwards sin, I always indentified with their hearts.

Wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

I agree! You are a wonderful writer! Isn't is wonderful that God included men like these in His word? I am so thankful for the many examples in the Bible of people who messed up (often in really BIG ways). Through repentance and a contrite spirit, they were still men and women of great faith, and they were loved by God. We are blessed to have their stories so we may learn from them.

Kim said...

Oh,my! This is so good! Thank you!


Linda said...

I love the way you so beautifully take an idea and give it "flesh". I was studying today about humility, and I think that repentence is a sign of a humble heart. Pride is such a tricky thing. It seems to be at the root of everything. And repentence is so essential. I especially liked the idea that Jesus was on His way to make atonement for his sin even as Peter was denying Him. What a beautiful thought. He knows our hearts and knows the true us.

LeftCoastOnlooker said...

Thank you for sharing. Sometimes I feel so Peter (the foot in the mouth part) that I completely forget about his repentance.
Thanks for encouring my mother-y-ness. btw, that girls parents are in TURKEY for a missions conference! so, email will have to do for now, but as soon as they get home, we are so talking to them - so, thanks for praying!

Chris said...

Oh, how too often I relate to Peter. Excellent Cyndi!

I hope the true me is not seen in my sinful nature but in my repentance and through God's grace.

Susanne said...

Beautifully written, Cyndi.

What a great comfort to know that our lives are not characterized by the sin but by the repentance.