Peter was zigzagging with God in his vision. He was using the rules he knew as a Jewish man to avoid doing what God was inviting him to do. At best, the heart of his conversation with God is a rationalization. At worst, he’s hiding out from encountering the holy.
“Zigzagging is a metaphor for the energy we spend trying to dodge the bullets of vulnerability, whether it is conflict, discomfort, confrontation, or the potential for shame, hurt, or criticism.”*
Was Peter experiencing shame for seeing things in a vision that he knew were against Jewish law? Maybe.
Notice how the passage progresses to Peter speaking clearly and taking action. That’s the daring discipleship response. The truth of the matter is this: Gentiles are included in the family of God. If it were not so, you and I would not be here.
If you keep reading in Acts, you’ll soon see that Peter zigzags once again. Sometimes, the lessons of daring discipleship take time to learn. Be patient with yourself and others.
Where or how do you zigzag as a follower of Jesus? As a parent, partner, co-worker, how do you zigzag? Where do you see Peter zigzagging in this passage? How did God speakclearly to Peter to stop that armored behavior?
Be clear about what you say and take action today. Set aside hiding out, pretending, avoiding, procrastinating, rationalizing, blaming, and lying. Each one of those behaviors (even one) is a drain on your energy and likely outside of your values.
Jesus, thank you for being clear and being kind. Call me toward courageous action today. Guide my words and actions to be in alignment with my thoughts and feelings. Help me to follow you, Jesus. Amen.
Where did you zigzag today? Where did you choose to speak clearly and take action today? Give God thanks for all of your experiences today.
If you haven’t taken a moment to review the “Overview of It Takes Courage” please do so. You’ll find a few tips that will help you start this journey.
*Brené Brown, Dare to Lead, p. 110