After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Matthew 26: 73 – 75
This moment must have been absolutely crushing for Peter. Realising that, even though he had been warned, he had betrayed his best friend three times. Christianity is sometimes criticised for being too much about guilt and ‘sins’, but anyone who has messed up in a way that they can’t take back, knows how awful it feels. But as bad as this was this isn’t the end of Peter’s story. Peter would go on to be an important leader, a dynamic preacher, and the rock of the Early Church. How? Because Jesus forgave and reinstated him.
Christianity is above all else a religion of grace. Grace means you aren’t defined by the worst thing you have ever done. You are defined by God’s love for you, and that love is unconditional. Even when you make a mistake as big as Peter’s, God will still love you.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you that you offer us all second chances. Thank you that your grace is always greater than my mistakes. Just as Peter learned from him mistakes, help me to grow from my errors and become a better person.
Action: Practice forgiveness today. To others and to yourself.