Focal Passages: John 21:3-7a, 15-17, 20-23
There are guarantees in life, and one for me is that I will make mistakes. Whether it be forgetting an important ingredient at the grocery store or saying the wrong thing, a family member is certain to be aware that mommy messed up. Even more certain, God is aware of my sinfulness and the mistakes I make. Our lesson asks some pertinent questions for when we realize that we have sinned and need to ask God for forgiveness.
The first lesson question is, “What are you fishing for?” In other words, what are you seeking? As we develop spiritually and realize we took a detour there must be a reason for making that choice. Perhaps it was for approval, success or selfishness. It is important to take time to reflect on these detours and ask God to show what tempted you to take the wrong path. The reflection is important because that is how we learn from our mistakes.
In John 21:15-17 Jesus asks Simon Peter questions to help him refocus on that which is important: “Do you love me?” Peter needed to return to his first love. Jesus asking the questions gave Peter the opportunity for repentance, and we have the same opportunity. Ask yourself, “When it gets right down to it does my action or attitude demonstrate love for Jesus?” When the answer is no, then we need to repent and make a change.
In John 21:20-23, Peter asks a question, “Lord, what about this man?” Our lesson question is, “What about others?” Jesus takes the opportunity to instruct Peter, and us, that we don’t need to be worried about the spiritual life of someone else more than our own spiritual growth. We have plenty of matters that need attention in our own spiritual inventory. We will make mistakes, but the wonderful truth of the gospel is that we can ask for forgiveness, be restored and live in victory.