Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”—Luke 22:60
Today we look at a game called “Stupid.” Simon Peter played this game. Picture the scene. Peter, the big fisherman, strong, resolute, determined, firm in his declaration of love for Christ, denies all knowledge of the Master. Why? He had walked with the Master for three whole years, heard Him speak the most wonderful words, saw Him heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and work other amazing miracles. Yet when he is asked if he knows Jesus, his response is one of withdrawal. In other words, he plays stupid.
Eric Berne claims that whenever we play games, it is always for a reward. What was Peter’s reward? It was the reinforcement of his fear. Why should the reinforcement of his fear be a reward? Well, the more deeply he believed that he was afraid and the more he did to reinforce that fear, the easier it would be to excuse himself for his failure to stand up for Jesus when confronted. The final pay-off was to be protected from danger.
A Christian schoolteacher told me that at an educational conference, someone happened to remark that the Bible was a fable. The man then turned to the schoolteacher and said: “What do you think?” He told me that his first impulse was to play stupid and say: “I am not sure,” or “I don’t know.” He caught himself just about to play the game but instead accepted the challenge of the situation and responded with some positive comments. To play the game of “Stupid” may bring temporary benefits, but the dishonesty involved greatly upsets one’s spiritual balance.
O Father, help me to be an honest person. Help me to absorb Your love in such a measure that it will dissolve every fear. Then strengthen me to face life—fearless and unafraid. Amen.
Ac 5:1-10; Ps 63:11; Pr 19:5; Jr 9:5
When we play “Stupid,” what are we really doing?
How serious is it?