One of the many lessons that I learned in 33 years in the corporate world is that we don’t have to always reinvent the wheel, we don’t have to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. We simply need to seek those who have experience to guide us and help us grow. In the corporate world we called that “best practices” -- find those who have life experiences and learn from them. I also learned that most of us hate to fail.
Peter, one of the greatest apostles of all time, also often stumbled and failed. Despite his best efforts, on numerous occasions Jesus lovingly chastised Peter for not getting it right. As we celebrated Holy Week we were reminded once again of Peter’s denial – his personal failure – in even acknowledging his Savior. (Sadly so many of us have done the same thing in so many different ways.)
So taking a clue from my corporate experience, I would suggest that Peter knows something about personal failure and that we can learn from him. In 2 Peter 1:10, Peter said:
…if you do these things,
you will never fall.
Wow that’s pretty impressive – never fall. Peter is referring to verse 5:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love.
Peter lists seven key steps in this verse to help us avoid personal failure:
- Goodness – which the dictionary defines as moral excellence, something that we need to embrace not only in our personal lives but in society.
- Knowledge – understanding the truths of Scripture and then living them in our daily lives.
- Self-control – now Peter is getting personal! My best definition of self-control is Godly restraint of our actions, doing what God tells us to do and not what we may feel like doing at any particular moment.
- Perseverance – persistence always leads to holiness.
- Godliness – conforming our lives to the wishes of God, remembering that Jesus said, “if you love me, do what I say.”
- Brotherly kindness – treating everyone with respect and compassion. Everyone!
- Love – Our love for God and our love for one another as exemplified in the Great Commandment and the Golden Rule.
Now before you misunderstand what I’m saying, we need to realize that some failures are good … our failures help us to learn, grow and become better. But that is not what Peter is talking about here. Peter is talking about personal failures in our lives and gives us the formula for succeeding. Great words from one of my favorite apostles – words worth emulating!
What a Great Holy Week!
From the Maundy Thursday service at St Matts, to the powerful Good Friday service in Amesbury, to Easter services at all campuses, this had to be the most powerful Easter ever! That would not have been possible without the hundreds of volunteers who helped in ways too numerous to articulate. One of our core values is that everyone is “gifted to serve.” That was certainly the case during Holy Week. Thanks to all and to our phenomenal choir. It was a wonderful Easter experience for our church family and those we were honored to have as our guests.
One Heart and Mind
This Sunday we’ll be starting a new sermon series about what it means to be a member of the family of God and to have unity in the church. Join us as we take a look at what Luke wants us to understand when he said, “all the believers were one in heart and mind.” And remember, invite a friend.
See you Sunday at 8:45.
Love in Christ,