The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’
John 21:17 (NIV)
Read: John 21
Consider: John tells us in his gospel that Peter was hurt by Jesus questioning him following the resurrection. This is particularly so when Jesus asked him the third time ‘… do you love me?’ Jesus wasn’t seeking to hurt Peter, but to give him the opportunity to confront his three denials.
While Peter was hurt by Jesus’ persistence, he responded positively to Jesus by saying ‘Lord you know all things …’ In response Jesus tells Peter to ‘Feed my sheep’.
There is a significant truth in this story. It is that in our lives as Christians God will often confront us with things that may cause us to feel uncomfortable. He doesn’t do this to hurt us (despite the fact that we may feel hurt), but that we might fulfil the task for which he has called us. This means that God wants us to be the person he wants us to be, not the person we think we should be. He wants to develop Christ-like characteristics in us, so that we are equipped for the task of winning souls for him and nurturing (feeding) them to become soul-winners.
So don’t fear God’s discipline. When he confronts you, don’t respond negatively to the hurt, but genuinely allow him to mould your character to become more Christ-like.
Pray: Father, forgive us when we resist your will and don’t allow you to discipline us, or we respond badly to you confronting us with things that need to change in our lives. Help us to see that when you discipline us, it is to make us more Christ-like. Amen