I was playing an online game of solitaire and noticed the following post that someone had left.
“956, 590 points…a new high score!”
Seeing how my high score was maybe a fifth of that, I was intrigued and watched to see if more posts appeared, to find out how he did it.
Another player was intrigued as well, and asked that very question. His response? He used Solitaire Cheats. He actually played the game using the “cheat codes”. He even listed the link, so other players could try it.
Really?? I mean, it’s just solitaire!
Remember when solitaire was just you and a deck of cards. The challenge for me as a child was two-fold: finding a deck of cards that had all 52 cards in it and getting through a game without someone walking through the room and telling me, “Hey you can play that 8 on that 9.”
Solitaire…with cheat codes. How sad. I want to be the best at a card game so I’m going to cheat and even though it won’t be me winning, I’ll still feel good about myself because my score is so incredibly high.
An image just popped into my mind. It’s from a football game several weeks ago, when New York Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi admitted to intentionally tripping Miami Dolphins player Nolan Carroll, who was running along the sidelines after a play.
Another image, one of Derek Jeter faking getting hit on an inside pitch again. The pitch came far inside and hit off the end of his bat as he tried to get out of the way. The ball bounced out into the infield, and it was immediately clear to every player on the field that Jeter had not been hit by the ball. It was at that point where Jeter started pretending that he was hit in the wrist, had to have a trainer come out and tend to it, and stood beside home plate acting hurt.
British historian, Thomas Macauley, once wrote, “The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he would never be found out.”
I always admired the disciple, Peter. Not because he was perfect…no, far from it. But, with the exception of Christ, I think I learned more about how to be a Christian from Peter than from any other person in the Bible.
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. ~~Matt. 4:18-20
Lesson 1: When called by Jesus, Peter was obedient and responded immediately.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” Jesus said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” ~~Matt. 14:25-30
Lesson 2: When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. But even when Peter was in trouble, he knew whom to call upon for help.
Jesus replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” ~~Matt. 15:13-15
Lesson 3: Peter knew to ask for help when he didn’t understand.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” ~~Matt. 16: 13-16
Lesson 4: Peter knew whom he was serving. He did not hesitate, but proclaimed Jesus’ sovereignty.
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. ~~Matt. 26:35
Lesson 5: Peter had a fierce sense of loyalty. He was passionate about his faith.
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Matt. 26:40
Then Peter went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” ~~Matt. 26:71-72
Lesson 6: Peter was human. He made mistakes. He showed poor judgment at times. But it didn’t stop him from trying.
Then Peter began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And Peter went outside and wept bitterly. ~~Matt. 26:74
Lesson 7: Peter was repentant. When Peter sinned, he acknowledged it and knew whom to turn to for forgiveness.
From a simple fisherman to the rock which Christ built his church on. What is Christ accomplishing through you today? Are you by the seashore waiting to be called? Are you in the midst of a ministry, but have questions or doubts? Have you stumbled and fallen? Have you turned away from Christ?
Remember Peter…there are no “cheat codes” for Christianity. Simply return your focus to the one who can guide you through any situation or circumstance. The one that will be by your side and never leave you. Christ Jesus.
For he hath said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you. ~~Hebrew 13:5