When we know we need to change, we need a mindset reset. We need to shift from a “fixed mindset” – where life is only a “pass or fail” – to a “growth mindset” that values learning from failure. Why?
Because embedded in the “growth mindset” is the concept of grace. You are not a disappointment to God or a hopeless case. Knowing that you are not perfect, but constantly growing, is a big exhale of relief.
Peter Denies Jesus
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment, the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. (Luke 22:60-62)
As I studied this story, I started wondering about Jesus’ face when he looked at Peter. I know how I might look if someone treated me the way Peter treated Jesus. The look on my face would be disappointment, disgust, or betrayal.
Thankfully, Jesus is not like me. Because he is always true to His own character, we know the look on Jesus’ face as He looked at Peter.
He gazed at Peter with love.
Jesus looked at Peter with love and grace when Peter was at his lowest point – the moment of his greatest failure.
Jesus looks at you and me with love and grace when we are at our weakest, most exhausted state. He sees our failures— every single one— that have led to our empty life and our reduced sense of self. Jesus knows them fully while reaching out to us with the boundless grace we need to step into real change.
He stands ready with a Redemptive Flip when we have already blown it. Every single time, he welcomes us back with grace and love just like he did for Peter. For Peter’s story did not end there. One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture is in the last chapter of John, where Jesus redeems Peter’s denial.
To summarize, Peter denies Jesus. Jesus looks at Peter with love. Jesus is crucified. Jesus is resurrected. In his grief, Peter goes fishing.
Suddenly, Peter sees a man on the shore. He flings himself out of the boat towards Jesus. In that moment, Peter turns away from his denials into the love and grace of Jesus. Peter’s glorious story encourages us too.
When we turn to embrace grace to live our one life well, Jesus is there looking at us with love.