Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Do you ever read the Bible and think to yourself ‘I would have been different! I’d have never denied knowing Jesus like Peter did!” Or maybe you read in the Old Testament about God’s people forgetting everything that he had done to lead them out of captivity, and they begin to worship, of all things, a golden cow. You and I would never do that, right?! 

I have found that in giving myself the benefit of hindsight, of knowing how the story ends, I’m missing out on the lessons our spiritual ancestors have to teach us. And if we’re honest, we can be very similar to them in a lot of ways. I’ve never literally worshiped a Golden Calf, but I have put my trust in things other than Jesus. I bet you have too; money or relationships to name a few. And although I’ve never outright denied Jesus, I’ve also never been faced with the life and death situation that Peter was. If I put myself in his shoes (or sandals) I am able to get a glimpse into the fear and disorientation he felt. I can start to understand his denial and I can also begin to see my own denial in small daily ways. Denials like when I fail to live up to the standard that Jesus has set for us all. (That ‘turn the other cheek’ thing gets me every time!)

Here’s a challenge: read a difficult part of scripture and try to dismiss your preexisting knowledge of how the story turns out. Work to place your heart in the context of the story as it unfolds. Be in the Upper Room for the Last Supper and wonder who it is among you that will turn Jesus over to the authorities. Or sit with Job in his suffering and try to understand his accusing friends perspective. 

It’s a very fruitful exercise and I promise it will expand your heart and allow God to work mercy, compassion and grace into your life in new and different ways.

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