Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


June 22, 2010

We might want to be careful when we make a vow. "I'll never drink again," or, "I promise to lose thirty pounds this year." It's not that promises and vows are not good things; it's just that they tend to paint us into a corner.


Peter said to him, "Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.
- John 13:34,35 NRS

 Peter makes a promise that he cannot keep. In his enthusiasm for Jesus, and his self-confidence, he sets himself up for a fall. There is nothing wrong with making a promise, taking a vow, I suppose, but we can't allow it to separate us from the grace of God. Had Peter not had Christ's forgiveness and grace, he could have wallowed a failure, and self-condemning for the rest of his life. But that is not the way of Jesus Christ.

Maybe you find yourself like Peter as a disciple-failure, a vow-breaker. Jesus hadn't even begun to use Peter to be a mighty servant. And I am sure, it was not the last vow Peter failed in, but Christ's grace is greater still. And that is true for you and me. Get over the broken promise. Get on with starting over once again, get on with following Jesus, obeying Jesus today. Go ahead, get on with it!

Dale Patterson