“Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23)
In the matter of a few short verses, Simon
Peter somehow managed to go from “rock” to “stumbling block.” I mean, how in the world does something like
that happen? Well, in this case it
happened through a subtle but severe shift in thinking. It happened when Simon Peter stopped “having
in mind the things of God” and started “having in mind the things of men.” It happened when he stopped denying himself
and became full of himself. It happened
when he stopped taking up his cross and, instead, started trying to force his
own agenda. It happened when he started
trying to save his life, rather than being willing to lose his life. That’s all it took.
Is that not frightening? Could it really be that easy to lose our
bearings? Could it really be that easy
to get sucked into the world’s way of being and seeing? And the really scary part is that, oftentimes,
the shift takes place without our even knowing it. Therefore, we must pay careful attention,
lest the very same thing happen to us.