I have always been drawn to Peter–one of Jesus’s original twelve disciples. I think it’s because of his absolute imperfection and humanity. Honestly, I think it’s also because I see so much of myself in Peter. One of my favorite stories of Peter is this one: Jesus sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished, he said to Peter, “Now row out to deep water to cast your nets and you will have a great catch.” “Master,” Peter replied, “we’ve just come back from fishing all night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you insist, we’ll go out again and let down our nets because of your word.” When they pulled up their nets, they were shocked to see a huge catch of fish, and their nets were ready to burst! They waved to their business partners in the other boat for help. They ended up completely filling both boats with fish until they began to sink! Luke 5:4-7 (TPT) I love this story of Peter because I see so much of myself in it. Peter had spent the whole night fishing and catching nothing. When he came back to shore, Jesus told him to go back out to deep water and cast their nets out. Peter’s response is classic! He tells Jesus they’ve already been out there and caught nothing. I can see myself saying the same thing! It’s logic. Peter sees no reason to go back out to the deep water because logic tells him there won’t be any fish this time either. But, God.
(Im)Perfect: The Ungrateful Heart
It was tough. Did you know Moses spends the first nine chapters of Deuteronomy preaching at the Israelites over and over and over again to not turn their backs on God when they finally enter the Promised Land after wandering around in the wilderness for 4 years? Nine chapters. That tells me one of two things–either they were really stubborn or Moses didn’t have anything else to say. I’m pretty confident it isn’t that Moses was running out of things to say. No, it was definitely because the Israelites were stubborn, and, as Dr. Phil would say, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. The Israelites had some notorious past behavior.
(Im)Perfect: The Desperate Heart
I’ve always been baffled by Tamar’s story. I’m not sure how old I was when the full weight of her story resonated with me, but I’m pretty confident this one wasn’t illustrated on the flannel graph in my Sunday School class. After all, I don’t remember a prostitute character in the flannel graph box. If you don’t know Tamar’s story, the full narrative can be found in Genesis 38.
(Im)Perfect: The Ambitious Heart
In its purest form, ambition isn’t bad. The world we live in today, though, has placed an emphasis on ambition that, if unchecked, has the potential to be incredibly dangerous. It can infiltrate every aspect of our lives: We want the most high-paying jobs. We seek recognition from our bosses, co-workers, friends, and churches We want the validation of seeing our names in lights. We push our kids to be on the best travel ball teams. We want our kids to be at the top of the class, the MVP of the team, to have the lead role We want the biggest house. We want the most expensive cars. We want more clothes in our closets than we could ever wear. We want more channels on tv than we could ever watch. We want our refrigerators to be so overflowing that we throw more food out than some people eat. Do you see a theme here? Ambition has caused this “bigger and better” mindset to be the norm in our world today.