So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” John 21:15
Have you failed? Are you insides being gnawed away by the insidious emotions of embarrassment and remorse?
Then be encouraged by the failure of one of the great disciples. During Christ’s trial and crucifixion, it was crucial that the disciples stayed together and kept their faith strong. Instead, they fled, Simon Peter went as far as denying his beloved Friend three times.
However, when they met again after the Resurrection, Jesus held no malice for Peter. John 21:15 reports, “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’ [Peter] said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ [Jesus] said to him, ‘Tend My lambs'” (NASB).
Jesus did not chastise Peter; rather, He stressed that for Peter to truly show his love, Peter would have to take on the commission: feed My lambs. The same is true for you. God does not desire for you to remain ashamed. His direction is that you renew your commitment and take up the purpose for which He called you.
As Oliver Goldsmith astutely notes, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall.” You have no reason to live in shame. Rise again and take on the godly life to which God called you. You may find your biggest failure was only the beginning of your greatest success.
When I wallow in guilt, Lord, I am not doing it for You, but for me. Help me to rise quickly, ignore the naggings of embarrassment and remorse, and be about Your business.