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Immerse: Messiah - Week 12, Day 56

Good Intentions

“His intentions were pure.”
“His heart was in the right place.”
“He meant well.”

These are some of the phrases I have heard many times throughout my life, and I’m sure many of you reading this have heard these phrases or have even spoken them about someone at one time or another. We usually say them to our kids, or someone else’s kids because they were trying to help, but really were making things significantly worse.

I was talking to my mom several days ago about this very topic, and I asked her if there was ever a time when I was a kid that my “helping” wasn’t really helping. Or did I ever do something or make something that seemed to be fine at the moment, but later turned out not to be fine at all? Here’s the story she told me. When I was in fifth grade our teacher had all of the students bring in a recipe for a holiday cookie cookbook. Apparently, my mom still had that cookbook from twenty years ago and decided she wanted to use the recipe I submitted for the cookbook and make cookies. Why did she still have it? I don’t know. Why did she think this year was a good time to make those specific cookies? I don’t know. But she made the cookies and followed the recipe exactly as it was written. Can you guess how they turned out? They turned out how just about everything in 2020 has turned out: not good.

When I added this recipe to the cookbook all the way back in fifth grade, my intentions were for these cookies to be delicious. My intentions were great, but the end product was flawed. As I was reading Immerse this week, Peter’s intentions in Matthew 16 were pure; his heart was in the right place, he meant well, but his end goal was flawed.

On page 341 in Immerse: Messiah it says, “But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. ‘Heaven forbid, Lord,’ he said. ‘This will never happen to you!’ Jesus turned to Peter and said, ‘Get away from me Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

We can read here that Peter’s heart was in the right place. He did not want Jesus to die. He was going to make sure no matter what, Jesus was going to stay alive if it was the last thing he did. Even though he thought he was doing and saying the right things, he was completely in the wrong, and Jesus called him out on it. Jesus knew, and Peter failed to understand even up to Jesus’ arrest, he had to die in order for everyone to be saved.

All of us could learn a thing or two from Peter’s example. Even though we may have all the right intentions, we could still be in the wrong. We need to make sure we know all we can about the situation before we say or do anything which might hurt it. Gaining wisdom and understanding is something Peter failed to do during this interaction with Jesus. Gaining wisdom and understanding is something we should strive for in any and every situation.

- Josh Colvin