I was reminded of Peter's self confidence where he proudly proclaimed "Oh Lord, I would die for you. I would NEVER deny you, etc. Of course, he ended up eating those words after he denied even knowing Jesus 3 times IN A ROW! I began meditating on the conversation Jesus might have had with Peter if Jesus was me:
"Peter, after all this time, you of all people should know better. You were a disciple, a leader for heaven's sake, and in the very inner circle! I am so disappointed with you right now. To deny me, the savior of the earth, is grounds for dismissal. Really, it's the entire basis of why I even came to this earth and you have the audacity to deny you even know me! If you don't get it by now, you probably never will. I thought I knew you but you've clearly shown me today your "true self." When I think about all the painstaking hours of teaching, training, leading and this is how you thank me? Dude, we're not even friends. You are so two-faced. You just disgust me. I am so through with you! You blew it, Peter. You don't even realize what all I had in store for you but that's all history now. You definitely made the worst decision of your entire life. Best of luck, pal. As of right now, you are FIRED.
Well, this conversation never happened and maybe I "stretched" some of the verbage for effect, but you get the picture! Jesus looked beyond Peter's momentary bad decision and saw Peter's heart. He gently restored and loved Peter. He did not condemn his choice or try to humiliate him and make him feel inferior. The great love and compassion he showed Peter was the catalyst for Peter to proclaim with all boldness that Jesus was Lord.
God knows our weaknesses and our frailty. We are but dust. I need to learn to make favorable allowances for other people. I pray that God will show me beyond people's faults and reveal their hearts. I want to deal with people lovingly and gently just like Jesus did with Peter. I don't want to be known as "judgment" any more.