Believing in and Bringing Out the Best in Others
To wrap things up, surprise! Another Jesus story. Jesus ties it all together here in this very personal moment with Peter. He calls Peter by name, identifies what he cares about, understands his story, refuses to define him by his mistakes, and draws out the best and highest calling for his life.
Pulling Peter aside, Jesus questions, “Do you love me? … Take care of my sheep.” He repeats this process three times.
To understand the significance of this moment, we must remember Peter’s past. Previously, on the night of Jesus’ arrest, Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times. Ouch. These men had essentially spent every waking moment of the past three years together, but on a dime, Peter refuses to associate himself with his condemned friend. That’s a big deal.
What is an even bigger deal, however, is that Jesus never stopped believing in Peter and his ability to fulfill the calling Jesus had for his life. Even though Peter denied Jesus, he found out that Jesus never had and never would deny him. Through all that Jesus endured the night Peter rejected Him, He continued to believe in Peter’s potential. And in ours. This is part of the Gospel! That while we were still sinners, while our backs were turned to Him, Christ died for us. He believed so much in our ability to step into a better story, a relationship with God, that He went to the cross in the ultimate display of love and confidence. He’s that good. For Peter, Jesus’ display of confidence brought healing and boldness into his story.
In the same way, we have the option of continuing to believe in people and bring out the best in them, even when they let us down. If we are willing, God can use us to help inspire people to confidence in their potential.
See, each and every one of us was created on purpose, for a purpose, by a purposeful God. Even when that purpose is difficult to identify, as it may be covered up by messes, mistakes, or masks, we can bank on our purposeful God. Trusting Him by looking at what Jesus did for us allows us to believe the best about people and challenges us to call out their potential … to make it personal.
Challenge: How can you call out potential today? Ask Jesus to point out places and spaces where your perspective of the Gospel and purpose can bring out the best in others and boldly step into those moments.