Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.Matthew 26:33-35 NLT
As we all know, Jesus was absolutely correct. Peter was reduced to a blubbering coward in record time. Every time I read this, I wonder how often I fall into the same trap. You see, I’m certain Peter was sincere. Every fiber of his being wanted to be brave and committed. His emotions were stirred by the Passover meal just ended, and by the remarkable experience of having his feet washed by the Master. Now he hears the alarming prophecy that all will desert the Lord that very night. “No, no, a thousand times no!” His mind and his pride must have been screaming. The only possible response was, “Not me, Lord.”
Often the line between emotional reaction and spiritual response is very fine, indeed. How many times have you been in a service stirred by the music and the message, and made a commitment to God. to yourself, or even signed a pledge to the church, only later to find that keeping that commitment is quite inconvenient? My usual practice in matters of the Spirit is to take them to my prayer closet. Let the emotions wane. If the unction to commit continues strong in my heart, then let’s do it. If not, I have not sinned.
So, it’s Sunday. What do you suppose would happen if each of us searched his memory and his heart to recall any commitments made which we have let quietly slip into the quicksand of rationalization? A financial pledge? A commitment to serve in some way? Maybe a promise to pray for someone or some thing? How about a promise to drop some bad habit? Whatever it might be, this Sunday let’s consider actually keeping our word. Let’s take steps to fulfill our promises to God and others. If we can’t do it, then at least ask forgiveness. If we need help, pick up the phone and ask for it. I think we could maybe change the world.