Hope For Us Slow Learners…

AEB031BA-0B3B-42AD-BD9E-0180E8980420.jpegAre you a natural student? Does learning come easy to you? I am not. In fact in school my teachers always had the same complaint. “She talks too much.” They would say, “No matter where we put her she’s going to make a friend.” I got distracted very easily. So for me learning was harder to do.
The same is still the same for me as an adult. Though now my distractions are doubt, fear, anger, pride, thinking I already know it all, and yes I still talk too much. How about you? In life lessons are you stubborn. Are you hard to teach? Having to be shown more than once the answer before getting it. There is someone in the Bible like that too. Peter.
Peter was one of Jesus disciples. You see Peter talked a lot. He was a strong willed man who could be very enthusiastic and sometimes brash. Peter had several instances of having to be corrected while a follower of Jesus. First let’s look in Matthew 16. Here Jesus is telling His disciples that He will be crucified and rise again. Peter says “Far be it from you Lord that this shall happen to you.” Jesus quickly rebuked Peter saying “Get behind me Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:22-23) Even after being told by Jesus that He must be arrested and crucified, Peter acts out again in John. Here Jesus is being taken away by guards. Peter takes his sword and cuts off the ear of a guard. Jesus again corrects him by saying “Put down your sword into your sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which my Father has given me?” (John 18:10-11) Peter then having not truly listened when Jesus warned him that he would deny Jesus 3 times. Peter so full of himself said “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.” He goes on to assure Jesus that, “Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you!” (Matthew 26:33-35) We know that Peter went on to deny Jesus 3 times. (Matthew 26:70-74) There are other instances of Peter if you’d like to look them up.
Point here being that Peter was a talkative know it all at times. He would call out to Jesus to prove himself to be who He said He was, but then turn away from Him. (It was Peter who walked on water toward Jesus.) He would say or act as if he knew better than Jesus. Listening to his own words above Jesus’s at times. (No I won’t deny you. I know I won’t.) He was not the best student. I think we all can relate to Peter at times. I know I can.
Here’s the good news for us talks too much slow learners! Jesus still loved Peter,(Matthew 16:18-19) forgave Peter (John 21:6,15-17), and still used Peter for Gods church and kingdom. (Acts 2:14) (Also read Acts 3 and 4). Peter even after all his hard headed moments was used by Jesus, by God, in amazing ways.
So what does this mean for you and me? It means that we aren’t too hard headed for Jesus. We aren’t too slow. We aren’t too anything. Not as long as we keep looking to Jesus. As long as we are open to God using us in the ways he sees fit. Using our abilities as useful gifts for God instead of against us. By Peters example, he talked a lot, some might even say he liked the sound of his own voice. So God used him to speak over crowds in Acts 2:14. We all have gifts to use to grow the kingdom of God. Thing is we sometimes use them the wrong ways. Just as Peter did at times. There is hope for us! We all can still be used by God! We can all still be useful in growing others love and faith in God and for ourselves. No matter how slow of a learner we have been. Let’s go to God and ask to see our gifts and abilities and how to use them for Him, for us, and not against. Let’s ask Him for help with all our distractions, whatever they are for you. Let’s become the star pupil God created us to be. Knowing, believing, all the way that God loves us through it all. As always I’m praying for you.

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