After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. – John 21:15
Peter left his beloved blue, blue Sea of Galilee, his nets, his fish, and all that was dear to follow Jesus. But Peter left something more important than all of these things—his spirit of competition!
When he and Andrew had been business partners with the sons of Zebedee, there had always been a sense of competitiveness. James and John and old Zebedee had managed to do better than Peter and Andrew, but Peter knew fishing. What’s more, he had the physique. Look who pulled the net ashore with 153 fishes in it (John 21:11)!
But Jesus asked Peter for that competitive nature on the seashore. Breakfast had been eaten and Jesus asked, “Do you love me more than these [the other disciples]?” Peter had been sure he loved the Lord more than all the other disciples put together. Why, he had even told the Lord so in front of them! But after three denials, he had to humbly admit he had not beaten the others to it, in the matter of loving!
If we are to shepherd the Lord’s sheep together, there is no room for a spirit of competitiveness—the sort of spirit that says I am more loving or more capable than others. We need to cooperate in brotherly love if the sheep are to be fed. Do you need to give your competitive nature to Jesus?
For Further Study: John 21:1-15
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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