Read: John 18:15–18, 25–27; 21:1–19

Now Simon Peter was standing [by the fire] and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of Jesus’ disciples, are you?” Peter denied it and said, “I am not.” John 18:25

You may be one good mistake away from being truly useful to God. This is a difficult concept for competent people to grasp. Our own competence may be the most significant barrier to accomplishing great work for God. Peter, the most self-confident of all the disciples, did not become truly useful to Jesus until he had utterly failed Jesus.

We are often so confident in our own abilities, in our own insights, and in our own sense of direction that God is unable to lead us toward true greatness. We believe we have proved our worth on more than one occasion, so we are disinclined to feel a need to wait for God’s advice and direction. We charge ahead, pressing our own agenda, seeking to make our own way in the world, bent on achieving the goals we set for ourselves. As a result, we are often useless to God. God needs people who will listen. God needs people who can be led. God needs people who can learn.

The good news is that, like Peter, we may be only one good mistake away from being useful to God. One good mistake may be all it takes for us to regain perspective. One good mistake might be all it takes to start trusting God more than we trust ourselves.

How have the mistakes in your life made room for God?

Lord, as I stumble, help me to realize that the mistakes I make are not the end of me but rather the beginning of my true usefulness to You. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.