“He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
John 21:17 ESV
It’s easy to become emotional and blurt out words. The words may be true and heartfelt in the moment, but that doesn’t mean they are true to our core. Peter had confessed something that he intended but he could never achieve; emotions will fail. Love is more than an emotion.
Jesus asks Peter about his love for Him. Surely Jesus knew (since He is God), but this was for Peter. Before the crucifixion, Peter confessed his love and loyalty but now he is humbled in light of his blatant denials of Christ. Confession of our love will be tested in the crucible of temptations and trials. Without resolve of character our confession means nothing.
Emotional decisions and confessions come at breakneck paces when the cost is small. Words are cheap and easy. Crosses and commitments are costly and people who are hanging on them do not have to say a word about love because everyone can see it.
How easily do you get caught up on emotional confessions without soul-commitment?
What promises have you made to God that you haven’t been able to keep?
What does it look like for you to bear your cross and follow Him?
Do you think Christ wants a confession from you or a commitment? Or both?