This is part 3 in our series on leadership lessons from Peter. You can read part one here and part two here. The next lesson in leadership from Peter is:

The importance of a deep conviction about truth.

No one can argue that Peter lacked passion. By all accounts, Peter was a man of deep convictions. As he walked with Jesus, Peter’s confidence about Jesus’ messiahship grew deeper and deeper. Peter was the first disciple to proclaim Christ as the Messiah (Matthew 16:16) boldly, and Peter was also a man who stood for truth in the face of opposition, as recorded in the book of Acts. 

According to Luke 5, Jesus told Peter to re-launch the boat and cast out their fishing nets. After having been out all night and failing to catch anything, Peter no doubt wondered about the sanity of such a request. Nevertheless, at the word of Christ, Peter obeyed and drew in the largest catch of fish he had ever seen. Peter’s response is telling: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Clearly, Peter had a deep conviction about the truth of his soul. This self-awareness would help shape Peter into a great leader, a fisher of men. Don Howell summarizes this event by stating,  

Peter began his journey of faith with a deep understanding of his own sinful heart and his unworthiness to stand in the presence of such a majestic person. In all the vicissitudes of the coming days this conviction will never leave Peter. Contrition was the prelude to his decision to follow.[1]

But Peter would also fail in his discipleship. Of all the disciples, his failures are the most discussed. However, it was his awareness of his own sinfulness that made his life malleable in the Savior’s hands. What Jesus produced became a great example of Christian leadership.

Acts 5 provides another illustration of Peter’s conviction about truth. Most likely motivated by the example of Barnabas, a man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property and gave part of the money to the Apostles to disperse among the newly formed church. The only problem was that they were not honest about the amount of money they donated. They wanted the recognition of giving a grand gift while keeping some of the money for themselves. Peter’s response reveals his deep conviction about truth: “You have not lied to men, but to God” (Acts 5:4).

Many people remember Peter’s denials of Jesus. Admittedly, those three denials of Jesus were the low point of Peter’s life. But God often uses the weakest points of our lives to propel us to the highest of heights that He plans for us. Peter and Jesus were reconciled on a beach after Jesus rose from the dead (John 21), and from that moment on, Peter was deeply passionate about the truth of Jesus Christ.

It was this devotion to truth that enabled Peter to stand for truth in the face of ridicule (Acts 2), courts (Acts 4 & 5), prison (Acts 5), and even death (Acts 12). What we know to be true will make us live according to truth. To say it another way,

our actions reveal what we believe to be true.

So, how is God’s truth shaping your life? Your leadership in your family? At work? In your influence over others? 

Saturate yourself in God’s truth and then live it out. 

[1] Don Howell, Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003), 207.

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