One of the apostles that most people say they relate to is the Apostle Peter. Often the main reason people can relate with him is all the mistakes he made, and how quick he was to speak. It is true that Peter was a real guy that made mistakes, but there is so much more to Peter. If you want to relate to him, you must relate to all of him. Peter was zealous. He was not apathetic, nor did he wait around. He took initiative and was not afraid to jump right in. Peter had incredible faith and boldness that we see laid out throughout the Scriptures. If you want to be like Peter, you must live a life of taking risks for the Lord and really putting yourself out there.
When I think of the Apostle Peter, he reminds me of the famous quote from President Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Peter walked on water. He sank when he lost faith, but Peter was the only one to get off of the boat and join Jesus. Where were the others? Peter took a step of faith and actually walked on water. Peter was the first to call Jesus the Messiah. And Peter was the first to come to the Messiah’s defense when the temple guards came to arrest Jesus. Yes, Peter had a great misunderstanding of the mission, but so did all the others. Yet, once again we see Peter stepping out to defend his Lord.
Yes, Peter made a mistake and denied the Lord three times, but he was there. He was nearby risking his life. He could have easily fled and not been anywhere near Jesus. Also later on, when Mary and Martha came back from the tomb and said Jesus was gone, many looked at them like they were crazy. Not Peter. Peter sprinted to the tomb. Peter was the first we see after Pentecost boldly proclaiming the name of Jesus in the street of Jerusalem, and 3,000 came to know the Lord that day.
So, yes, relate to the realness of the Apostle Peter. Yes, get back up and persevere after you mess up. But if you want to be more like Peter. Get into the arena. Take bold steps of faith for the Lord, and God will use you in incredible ways just like He used the Apostle Peter. Don’t be the critic. Be the doer. Get in the arena.