Denying Him No More!
"Truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times." Matthew 26:34
It took me a long time to own up to being a Christian. I believed in God and willingly accepted Jesus as my Savior—all that was fine.
I didn’t want to be lumped in with some of the other Christians I knew, and frankly didn’t like very much. The sanctimonious girl at school who invited me to church because she felt obligated to expose me to her denomination. The cutthroat guy at work who ogled me daily but wore his churchgoer status like it was his get-out-of-jail-free card. The nosy neighbor who’d tell me all about her church bake sale while gossip-slaughtering everyone else on the block.
So when my friend offhandedly teased me about having “turned into one of those Christians,” I was taken aback. While I knew what I believed, I certainly didn’t want to be relegated to the judgy, holier-than-thou classification she wanted to pin on me.
When our conversation ended, I felt like the Apostle Peter after Jesus’ arrest.
Peter was part of Jesus’ inner-circle, whom Jesus called “the rock” upon which He would build His church (Matthew 16:18-19). When Jesus told him he’d deny Christ three times that very night, Peter strongly denied this.
Yet, sadly, that’s what happened, and when the rooster crowed, Peter remembered Jesus’ words and wept bitterly.
When talking with my friend, I denied my Lord, and it felt like a punch to the throat.
Looking back, I recognize I’d denied Him in other ways throughout my youth, like when I didn’t speak up when I witnessed injustice, or when I caved to sin instead of doing what I knew to be right.
Today I’m proud to call myself a Christian.
Owning my Christian label was a big step in embracing my faith and my identity in Jesus. As with Peter, it took understanding how I’d fallen short—and making a choice to step up from then on out—to experience freedom.
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministryteam. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.
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