Faith Does Not Sink


The past 5-6 years during Lent … and especially as we grow closer to Lent, my mind falls on the same two Biblical figures.  Without fail, I cannot tell you why, but something will tug at me to meditate more on these two people – to find another commentary, podcast, or biblical study. 

I am speaking of Peter and Judas.  They both messed up so horribly and turned their back on Jesus… yet one let his shame destroy him, and the other was led back to God through repentance.  I can’t help but wonder why? They both were disciples of Jesus, they both saw the same miracles, felt the same grace and love, and heard the same parables. Yet, when the shame of sin pressed down on them – one’s sorrow led him back to God, whereas the other … not so much.  

In our “cancel culture” society, it is somewhat easier to understand Judas.  In his mind, he was unredeemable, worthless…cancelled.  The truth is – our world has a backward warped view of sin.

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Despite what our Twitter feed tells us, repentance is not about feeling bad forever or a condition to somehow “earn” forgiveness.

Pay attention carefully: After the sin comes the shame, courage is followed by repentance. Did you pay attention to what I said? Satan upsets the order; he gives the courage to sin and the shame to repentance.” 
St. John Chrysostom (emphasis added).

We are valued and loved by our Lord.  Our repentance is not to earn His forgiveness – it is for us.  Repentance is a process – it is about spiritual longevity… and that is what we see in the life of St. Peter.

Peter, a rock of faith, walked on water – but he also doubted… he sank in that water, and he denied ever knowing Christ (three times!). Even so, he showed courage in doing what Judas could not – he repented.  And because he did, Peter became all the stronger for it – he would go on to preach to the masses, baptize Jews and Gentiles, be imprisoned/tortured/martyred in the name of Jesus.  St. Peter lived his life truly walking on water knowing that faith does not sink.

 The word “shame” can mean so many things – guilt; insecurity; condemned; exposed.  The truth is, God has no use for this word in any of its meanings.  

Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
Psalm 34:5.

Check out our series SHAMELESS as we explore not only Peter and Judas, but other Biblical examples. Where the world tells us we are the problem, God reminds us we are His.


Looking ahead?  Check out BOLD! Our unit on our call for Evangelism - a perfect unit to do in June as we celebrate Pentecost and begin the Apostles Fast. Jesus called us all to be His disciples and spread the word of Christ from one end of the earth to the other. What does that mean to a modern-day teen? 

New to Bridges to Orthodoxy? Feel free to download our *FREE* (recently updated) Comprehensive Sample Pack designed to allow you to explore our educational materials designed to connect our youth to the Orthodox faith. 

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