Today's Devotional Thought
August 26, 2010 by Rachel Piferi
I hate making mistakes. I always have hated making mistakes. But, as I have gotten older and made a few more in my life, I am starting to see the value in making mistakes. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like making mistakes. But, I do know that without the mistakes in my life, I would never have experienced grace.
What is grace?
I believe grace reveals itself in different ways. In its ultimate form, grace is God’s undeserved mercy and salvation coming through the death of His son, Jesus Christ. God gave us eternal life with Him by sacrificing His own Son to pay the price for our sins. Even though we continue sinning and our sins make us unworthy of living alongside God, God still grants us an undeserved eternity with Him. Grace is a gift that we do not deserve and all we need to do to receive it is to accept it.
In addition to this ultimate form of grace, we can also see grace in our daily lives.
I think my favorite character in the New Testament is Peter. Peter was a leader among the 12 disciples and is quoted in the gospels more than any other disciple. He was the first to acknowledge that Jesus was Lord. He was willing to follow Christ and stepped out of the boat to go to Him. He was fiercely loyal, a tad impulsive, and became one of the boldest leaders in the growing Christian church. And, Peter saw grace in his life.
Peter saw the ultimate form of grace through Jesus’ death, but he also saw individual grace extended to him by his Savior and friend. And, he saw this grace a couple of times as he walked with Jesus and he saw it when he made mistakes. You see, even though Peter is the most quoted disciple and he shows to be a great, bold leader in the book of Acts, he also has the most reported errors of any disciple. I can imagine being one of the 12 disciples and watching Peter early in his ministry. I can imagine watching him jump up and out of the boat and then watching him start to sink. Or watching him rush to pray alongside Jesus in the garden only to see him fall asleep when his friend needed him. Or watching him lop off an ear because he was angry, scared, and loyal. And then, I can imagine watching him deny that he even knew Jesus and wondering, “Isn’t this the man that just vehemently told Jesus that he’d die for him? Isn’t this man who just lopped off an ear in protection of Jesus?”
Have you ever wondered, and I mean really thought about, what Peter must have felt like when he denied Jesus for the third time, heard the rooster crow, and then saw his precious friend look at him. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to betray your friend, know that your friend knows of your betrayal, and be powerless to correct it? All you can do is watch Him die with the very last interaction being that you hurt your dear, precious friend. It is reported that Peter wept when he did this. I imagine that wept isn’t even a strong enough word for the remorse that he must have felt.
I hate making mistakes. And friends, that mistake of Peter was a big one. How did Jesus respond once He and Peter were able to talk again? He responded with grace.
Have you ever hurt a friend and had that friend love you through it and extend this type of grace to you? I have made mistakes in relationships and had grace extended to me. And friends, I hate making mistakes, especially when it means that I have hurt someone. But, I cherish the experience of grace that comes only when you make mistakes.
I believe that Jesus’ extension of love and grace following Peter’s big mistake is what fully energized him to become the man that he was in his ministry. Peter learned first hand what grace feels like. And, he used that experience and the strength of Jesus Christ to build the church.
No one likes making mistakes. But, without those mistakes, we would never fully experience grace. We would never fully experience undeserved goodness and love extended to us following our mistake. Thank the Lord today for his ultimate demonstration of grace and when you experience grace from another in the midst of mistakes, then use it to energize yourself to move forward. And more than anything, learn to extend the same grace that Jesus gives you when you make mistakes, to others when they do.