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All of us learn to respond to life through the people closest to us. There is a reason why the British can generally be referred to as having a “stiff upper lip” as opposed to Mediterraneans, who tend to “wear their emotions on their sleeves.” We learn early, not knowing that we are learning anything at all. My father chose to disappear in my pre-teen years; packed his clothes in the trunk of his car one day and never came back. My mom and I had one explanatory conversation consisting of two sentences devoid of visible emotional response, and it was never spoken of again. I learned early how to respond to difficulty in life. My guess is, so did she.
What if what we inherited emotionally doesn’t reflect the beauty of Christ? What if we learned to deny our feelings or to spew them unrestrained, wreaking havoc on all who are in their wake? What if the conversation in our homes was rife with complaint? What if explosive anger is a normal context for us? What if the fear adults displayed in our formative years feels like it’s part of our DNA? Are we destined to walk in their footsteps, or can we choose to live another way?
Peter - Man - Struggle - Investigation - Responses
Though we don’t know how Peter became the man he was, we know for sure that he was acquainted with this struggle. A casual investigation of his responses to life during the years he was personally discipled by Jesus reveals a man whose emotions were often driving his life. He was the one who got out of the boat after all and then began to sink when fear overcame him. One moment he confidently declared Jesus’ deity, only to impetuously rebuke Him a short time later. Within seconds, he refused to have his...
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