The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

Archive for July 28, 2014

The Treachery Of Sin

“Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples are you? He denied it, and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.” John 18:25-27 (NASB)
Simon Peter lived in the real world, where the action was, and so must we. Though we are weak, we have to expose ourselves to situations where we are threatened. Otherwise we would have to live apart from opportunities for decision, courage, and growth. Moreover, we would avoid positive opportunities for service.
Jesus had warned Peter of what he was about to do. This should have led Peter to call on God for help before he faced his crises. But warning did no good. Peter went ahead to face danger–which was commendable; but he went without reliance on God–which led to disaster.
To sin seems the most natural thing one could do under the circumstances. It requires no premeditation. The temptation comes–the sin is the appropriate response. Sin always seems so right! Therein is the destroying treachery: under the circumstances it would seem almost wrong not to sin. But of course, the word “sin” does not come into the picture. For Eve in the Garden of Eden, it was this way: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6). For Simon Peter it was a clear case of self-defense; when asked if he were one of Jesus’ disciples, he denied it–he sinned, and it was so easy to do.
Sooner or later something or someone reminds us that wrong is wrong, that sin is sin. While the pressure was on, while the fun lasted, sin was an illusion. But then one reflects, one considers consequences, one considers God, and the whole picture changes. One little incident–the crowing of a rooster–brought Simon Peter back to a deeper level of reality. Then, so the other Gospels have told us, he was smitten with shame.
Guilt is always with us. The best among us know it acutely; the worst hardly feel it. Its presence or its absence points to a need to work with human beings lovingly and patiently until they find liberating forgiveness and energizing power to live triumphantly.

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