Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee
Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man
My general assumption is that Peter was not lying when he avowed he would follow Jesus to death. I think it is perfectly believable that he really thought he would be faithful to the end. But as he learned, the imagination of martyrdom is far different from actually being faced with it. It is easy to be a hero in one’s imagination.
Not all things in life are worth dying for, but some are. Liberty, truth, and the lives of others to name a few. It is good to be willing to sacrifice anything for these virtues, and those that can do so are extremely noble.
But when we say that an action is commendable, it does not necessarily mean that the inability to perform that action is condemnable. We should not be too hard on Peter for shirking when his great test came. Yes, he was lacking, but he was not bad. He was simply a work in progress.
Being willing to do all things for God’s cause only comes after years of exercising our faith. If we are not there yet, if we are still lacking in any way, if there are commitments we are not yet ready to make, then we can attest that we are still a work in progress, too. And yes, hopefully we are authentically working to make that progress, but if so, then it is alright to not be perfect just yet!