Are you hesitant to correct someone because of your past sins? Are you afraid to live out God's word before those who knew you when you weren't exactly the person God cleaned up?
After Jesus warned the disciple, Peter, that Peter would deny Him, Jesus encouraged him, "But I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail, and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren (Luke 22:32). Through this encounter, Peter did not expect Jesus' words to come true. Peter attempted to assure Jesus of his loyalty. Peter failed exactly how Jesus predicted.
Jesus did not tell Peter to stop being a witness, nor did He condemn Peter. Peter's new charge was to strengthen others.
Who could have been better than Peter? Outspoken, impulsive, and a challenger to Jesus, Peter did not shy away from controversy. Interestingly, Jesus did not focus on the character traits, but He focused on Peter using what he learned to encourage those around him. Peter often struggled with the same pride we have until God humbled us. Peter realized and accepted accountability for his actions. However, Peter did not allow his failure to hinder God's purpose.
Peter's personality became very important in the building of the early church. Peter remained outspoken. The book of Acts describes Peter's involvement. Peter's behavior after the failure became more aligned with Christ's mission.
Hebrews 12:1 reminds us, " Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Whatever hinders our testimony, let us be humble enough admit and turn from it.
We will make mistakes and poor choices. If we trust God, others will be strengthened by our experiences. Your personality in His hands becomes tools to further the Kingdom. If you are ever to live in God's will for your life, you must push through and not allow the past to hinder you.