Perhaps one of the most dynamic characters in the bible is Peter. Peter transforms from the mouthpiece of the disciples with the foot-shaped mouth to the coward in the corner at the cock crow and later to the unstoppable soldier for Christ’s kingdom in Acts.
So what made the difference? What accounts for his night and day change?
Andrew Murray in his commentary on the character of Peter sheds light:
“Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice.”
But with what self-confidence Peter said: “Though all should forsake thee, yet will not I. I am ready to go with thee, to prison and to death.”
Peter meant it honestly, and Peter really intended to do it; but Peter did not know himself. He did not believe he was as bad as Jesus said he was.
Murray points to Peter’s own knowledge of himself as the culprit. He was all talk but little action.
Today in education, and most everywhere, values are instilled to improve people’s “self-confidence.” It is a crime to do anything to damage someone’s self-esteem. Students are told they are capable and can do anything. This has bearing in some sense but is lacking in another.
When someone is humble they are said to be “self-less.” But to lack self is not enough.
We perhaps think of individual sins that come between us and God, but what are we to do with that self-life which is all unclean, our very nature? What are we to do with that flesh that is entirely under the power of sin? Deliverance from that is what we need. Peter knew it not, and therefore it was that in his self-confidence he went forth and denied his Lord.
It is Christ Jesus who can rid you of it [self]; none else but Christ Jesus can give deliverance from the power of self. And what does He ask you to do? He asks that you should humble yourself before Him.
True humility, taking a correct position before God, with hearts as vessels to be filled and used, is enough to make us truly self-less because we will be Christ-centered. This is the only way to change.