After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. (NLT)
Many of us have lived long enough to have made many wrong decisions. Sometimes it was carelessness, other times it was sheer wilfulness. What makes this very serious is that we can live in the shadow of regret for the rest of our lives. Haunted by these mistakes, feeling chained to their consequences, we are shackled and fail to embrace the present because of the memories of the past.
We believe one wrong decision, one false move, consigns us to a lifetime of regret and failure. We are wrong. Our God is the God of the second and subsequent chances. Our God does not walk away from us even as we might walk away from him. Taking the wrong track does not mean we have to stay on it.
Peter proves that. He made a couple of bad choices during Jesus’ arrest and trial. But he was not thereby consigned to the scrapheap. His failures in the past did not mean he had no future. In his case, it was a very significant future.
Never believe that God has one specific future laid out for you and if you make one wrong decision you will have blown it. God wants you to grow more like Jesus and has many ways to achieve this through you and even despite you. However many times we may stumble, he always stops to pick us up. No failure is ever final.