The Apostle Peter needed help.
As someone moving into more responsibility as a leader, he still too often spoke before thinking… acted before processing. Like many of us, he struggled thinking big picture, and he had difficulty understanding his role, considering changing circumstances.
In some way or another, we all face similar struggles. What makes Peter unique is that his struggles were on display for the rest of the disciples—and are on display for the millions of people who have read or heard Peter’s story in the intervening centuries.
But Peter had access to something all of us need and most of us can offer: devoted friendship and meaningful mentoring. For Peter, those came in the form of his relationship with Jesus.
Scripture tells us about several occasions where Jesus had the opportunity to speak into Peter’s life and offer a valuable lesson: about faith, trust or controlling his emotions.
In essence, Jesus offered Peter radical friendship.
To live a legacy and not just leave a legacy, it’s important for us to invest in a life here and now—much like Jesus did. This will look different for each of us—depending on our circumstances and our spheres of influence—but our commitment to this idea shouldn’t waver.
If we want to follow Jesus’ example and live a legacy, our task should be to invest—personally or spiritually—in someone outside our immediate family. This may be a co-worker, a friend, neighbor, classmate or acquaintance. By investing in someone, think about what specifically you can offer: your time (a valuable commodity), knowledge, specific skills, spiritual discernment, professional abilities, etc.
That means committing time and intentionality to the relationship.
Here are some examples as to how this might look:
1. Offer to help a co-worker with a new task or responsibility. This could be someone recently hired or an old colleague who just needs some assistance as he or she learns something new.
2. Be willing to meet with someone once or twice a month to offer friendship, mentoring or even just a different perspective on life. These intentional get-togethers are critically important. Think and pray about this decision and then act—don’t wait until everything falls perfectly into place … because it never will.
3. Commit to checking up on that neighbor who recently lost a spouse, or is elderly and needs help with everyday tasks or who recently lost a job. It’s as easy as making a note to spend five minutes once a week or two just making sure the neighbor is doing well and isn’t struggling in silence.
4. The next time you meet someone on the street asking for money, consider engaging him or her in conversation: ask what challenges he or she is facing. Investing five minutes of your time to speak into someone else’s life can be much more important than giving the change in your pocket.
The challenge is to be intentional. It’s easy to become immersed in the time-consuming activities of life, but by consciously devoting yourself to one of these opportunities, you can immediately enrich the life of someone else—often in compelling and unforeseen ways.
Think back to Peter. Who would have thought Jesus would eventually tell Peter—the guy who couldn’t keep his mouth closed or couldn’t understand the broader vision of Jesus: “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:18)?
Who will you invest in this week?
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