I am haunted by the story of the satanic deception of Peter in Matthew 16:21-23. Jesus has plainly stated that he must suffer and die before rising again from the dead. Peter was struck dumbfounded by the idea of the Messiah suffering and dying. This was totally incongruous to him; therefore, Peter brashly asserted that Jesus was wrong (verse 22). Jesus promptly and strongly rebuked Peter, stating that Satan was using Peter at that very moment. I am certain that Peter thought that he was expressing a pro-Jesus viewpoint, not knowing that in fact, he was espousing a satanic perspective. Is it possible for this to happen to us? How can we think so as to minimize this from happening to us? The following questions might be helpful so as to keep us on track spiritually with the Lord.
1. Are we expressing ideas that are thought through or serendipitous (off the cuff)?
2. Have we tested our thoughts and ideas from the Scripture?
3. How certain are we that our thoughts are absolutely right? Is it possible that we might be partially wrong, or even totally wrong?
4. Are we teachable concerning our ideas?
5. Are we willing to admit that we might be wrong?
6. Are we willing to admit that we failed to perceive a possibility that might be right?
7. How sure are we that we have all the needed information to render a judgment?
8. Should we express ourselves from the standpoint of personal perspective, instead of an absolute statement applicable to everyone?
9. Are we willing to grow in our understanding of the truth?
10. Will we submit our ideas, beliefs, values, and perspectives to the Lord for his analysis?
There are three rules to always keep in mind when expressing strong opinions about something: 1) Be biblical as much as you can; 2) Be humble in your views; and 3) Be loving when expressing your views.