Tom Smith (Utah, USA)
KEY VERSE: Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. – Luke 22:60-61 (NIV)
The Upper Room | 14th January 2022 | Daily Devotional Message
I was bullied in middle school. I was nerdy, I didn’t wear cool clothes, and I was hopeless at sports. I took solace in my friendship with Tarik, an exchange student from India. Like me, he just didn’t seem to fit in. But we had a connection through our common pain.
One day as I walked to school, three football players actually talked to me. I was ecstatic! As we approached the school, I saw Tarik by the doorway. Instantly the football players began to tease him. My desire to be popular was overwhelming, and I’m ashamed to admit I joined them in teasing my friend. I will never forget the look Tarik gave me at that moment. He didn’t say a word, but I could see the sense of betrayal and sadness in his eyes.
Peter must have felt deep shame when Jesus looked at him after Peter denied knowing Jesus. But Jesus didn’t condemn Peter. Rather, I believe Jesus looked deep into Peter’s soul and saw the bold man of God Peter would become.
When we feel shame for our mistakes, forgiveness is a prayer away. Jesus always looks upon us with unconditional love.
Loving Savior, help us to remember that your boundless love and sacrifice cover all our sins. May we look at others the way you do. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
God is looking at me today with eyes of forgiving love.
Students being bullied at school
More From Tom Smith
The Upper Room | 14th January 2022. The Upper Room is a daily devotional magazine published in more than 30 languages and 100 countries around the world. The daily meditations are written by readers of the magazine and others interested in sharing their faith experiences through writing—both laity and clergy, published authors and new writers. The meditations are stories of real people working to live faithfully with the Bible as their touchstone. Every day, readers of The Upper Room around the world read the same story in many different languages and pray the same prayer together. Read More