When a fail is not a fail

This weekend in the Clutch series we looked at the life of Peter. If being clutch is having the ability to perform well under pressure, Peter’s story started out with him being anything but clutch. It seems that every time he came to a crucial crossroads he choked. Whether trying to talk Jesus out of going to the cross, falling asleep during Jesus’ greatest moment of need or literally denying Christ 3x on the same night he swore he would die to defend Him; he proved himself to be a serial choke artist.

In the book of Acts, though, we see a completely different Peter than we witness in the gospels. He is bold instead of just brash, humble, more of a team player and most impressively he learned to keep a cool head when things heated up. Where before he pulled his sword out and chopped off an ear, later on he fearlessly unsheathed the sword of the spirit and 3,000 were saved. Early on he could be unnerved by the smallest servant girl but he went to the grave as fearless as a lion. He had become clutch.

It was a remarkable contrast and a testimony to the reality of the resurrection and the raw power of the Holy Spirit. I think that when these two things are neglected, perhaps more than any thing else, will drain us of the strength, energy and ability that are ours for the taking. If we are not daily emboldened by the wonder of Christ’s power over death and infused with His Spirit we will be sickly and anemic, and our performance will be pitiful.

As I covered Peter 1.0, the Peter we see perpetually stuck in struggle mode, and chronicled his list of failures I intentionally omitted something others might have included. I’m talking about the night where Jesus came to the disciples walking on the sea of Galilee and Peter got out of the boat and then after only a few steps he sank. I’ve heard people make a big deal about his failure to keep his eyes on Jesus and how he could had kept going had he not gotten distracted by the wind and the waves. That’s all true and a worthwhile thing to think about. But I personally don’t classify that episode as a fail. I think it belongs on his highlight reel not his blooper reel.

Yes he might have sunk, but let’s remember, he walked on water! None of the other disciples came close to drowning, but none of them had the guts to get out of the boat either. Ok, so he got in over his head and Jesus had to intervene, but back to my first point, HE WALKED ON WATER. It’s easy to criticize people who try big things because there will always be some amount failure when you are willing to get out of the boat. But a fail is not a fail when you fail taking steps of faith. It’s just par for the course and part of the experience.