Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterwards.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow till you have denied me three times.
We Don’t Know Ourselves
Over promising comes from a delusion of self. Either we think that we can do it all or we think that we are better at the core than we are. We desperately want to show that we are worthy of the affections of those whom we love. We desperately want to show ourselves worthy of the acceptance that we receive.
Peter is accepted by Jesus, but Peter does not truly know his own weakness and failing. He does not know that, although he desires to follow Jesus wherever Jesus will go, he lacks the consistency in his spirit. Maybe Peter would protest to Jesus, “But that’s not me. I’ll show you!” However, his actions proved that Jesus’ assessment of him was true.
Many of us defend ourselves. We say, “You don’t know me!” or “I will show you!” However, maybe if we first asked, “What insights do people have into my character that I do not?” The Johari window is a simple picture of how we have at least four areas concerning self-knowledge.
In one area of our lives are the things we know that are known to others. They are open. In another area we keep knowledge about ourselves hidden. Some people know things about us that we do not know. These are our blind-spots. Then there are the things unknown to both ourselves and others. People who resist growth and resist input from others do not know their blind spots. Peter had a blind spot that Jesus knew and he failed because he was unwilling to listen.
The ‘examen’ prayer causes us to ask God to reveal our blind and hidden spots. There are in each of us areas that God wishes to touch. We can resist or ask God to examine our hearts and then use others to show us areas in which we must still grow.
Examine my heart and show me where I must grow. Let me be trusting of others and open to their wisdom if they are sent by you to reveal in me the condition of my heart. I don’t want to do this because I am afraid of the pain. Others in the past have abused my trust and attacked me because of their own poverty of spirit. Please be gentle with me, but do not let me stay the way I am.
- Why does Peter ask where Jesus is going?
- Why does Jesus tell Peter he will deny him?
- Why did the early church need to be reminded of Peter’s empty promise?
- In what ways have people questioned your character or commitment?
- How have you responded?