Reflections on Chapter 7 of Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders.

Thoughts on “Insights on Leadership from Peter”

Simon Peter was often in the spotlight. That spotlight detailed many episodes of his life; some glisten with the touch of God, others are draped the in gloom of misguided decisions. That spotlight also gives us glimpses of the inner man of Simon.

The stories are famous – he walked on water towards Jesus; witnessed firsthand the daughter of Jarius drawn back from death into life; handled the boy’s lunch as it multiplied to feed a teeming crowd; received insight and boldness from above to declare Jesus as The Son of the Living God. Yet, there are others scenes, one in particular – a courtyard at dawn, the voice of the young lady, murmuring rippling through a small crowd, Simon Peter’s own voice uttering words he had discarded, a rooster crowing…

All of these scenes, and many more, figure into making the man who he was. God used each moment to mold him – the good and holy incidents were easy enough; but God used even the tainted happenings to impress Simon’s heart towards becoming a powerful voice in The Kingdom.

Having read this chapter my mind began to ponder again the saga of Simon Peter. Impetuous from the outset – Dr. Sanders is not the only scholar to attach this adjective to this brother. And, we love him for it. Of course, we shake our heads because of it as well.

Forgive me if I’m reading too much into it, but is seems to me there is a definite difference in the actions we read of in the Gospels when compared to the admonitions in his letters. I wonder about the original readers of his brief epistles, who appear to have lived far away from the regions where Jesus discipled Simon Peter. Had they read about the apostle’s life with The Master? Did they know of the accounts mentioned above?

Maybe the more pertinent question is, did it matter? 

The instructions he penned remain sound, prudent and potent for all generations. They are inspiring guidelines for every leader in The Kingdom. They can stand alone.

But when I compare Gospel accounts and the directives contained in the epistles, I see a man who has developed. That is not to say that the bulk of his early actions were reprehensible in any way. I think what is evident is the presence of the Holy Spirit refining Simon Peter.

And that gives me hope. Hope that God can use me. He can bring forth- from all my blunders, all the wonderous visitations of His Spirit, all my missteps, all the times when others prayed over me and poured into me- something useful for His Kingdom. 

Be encouraged. If Christ can transform a Galilean fisherman into an Apostle, He can do something similar with you. It may take some time. Bear in mind that it was this very servant of Christ who wrote, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)