Can I Come Back to Christ After Screwing Up?
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. – Acts 2:41
Easter has come and gone, but there’s one part of the story (besides of course the resurrection of our Lord) that sticks with me every year; how Peter rebounded from stumbling after he publicly failed Jesus. You see, other than Moses, Peter is the one person in the Bible I relate to the most.
Peter was impatient, impulsive, and kind of a hot head. He was known for his bluntness. And, prior to Christ’s resurrection, Peter was quick to claim faith but struggled following through when it mattered most; in Matthew 14:28-31 we see that Peter got out of a boat to walk on water toward Jesus, but then overthought the miracle and quickly sank. I resonate with all those characteristics!
But of all the things Peter is known for, the most commonly referenced is his denial of Jesus not once but three times in the moments of His persecution. How would you like for that to be your calling card as a follower of Christ? However, as bad as that mistake seems and as guilty as he probably felt, Peter doesn’t let his story end there.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, days after Peter denied him, he jumped out of a boat again to get to the Lord faster (John 21:7). Then, after Jesus ascended to heaven and the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter boldly preached and led 3,000 people to Christ. Peter continued to preach and build the body of Christ until his own death years later. He played a part in the salvation of thousands of Christians in his lifetime - what a legacy! And none of that would’ve happened if he would’ve let failure define him.
God didn’t need Peter to be perfect to help share the love of Christ and He didn’t reject him because of past mistakes. The Lord used Peter as an imperfect vessel and turned his story from one of regret to redemption! And, I’ll take it a step further and say if Peter would’ve had a perfect story, we wouldn’t be able to see how BIG God moved in him and how his brokenness was used for the Kingdom.
What can you and I learn from Peter? His failure didn’t define him. He didn’t say “I screwed up, therefore who I am to share the love of Christ?” No, it was more like “I screwed up but Jesus forgave me and died for me, so who I am to NOT share the love of Christ with anyone I meet!”
Too often we think we’re defined by our failures: our pasts, our shortcomings or our lack of qualifications. But what we’re forgetting is that like Peter, God can use our imperfect selves and broken stories for a purpose. Our identity is not in our past or our performance. Jesus sealed our identities as beloved children of the one true God who can bring beauty from ashes. Peter forgot what was behind and confidently forged a new path ahead because of Christ. And so should we, friend.
With you in the thick of it,
Challenge: Do you feel defined by anything other than Christ? Share what you’re battling with in the Wheatful Woman community and let your sisters fill you with truth about your identity in Christ.