A defining moment is very brief portion of time, an instant, where you have to decide in a moment. If you’re too slow to react, this moment will define your life in the form of disappointment, failure, and shame. This old French expression is now nearly 1000 years old since it first appeared in literature. Whether you just experienced the agony of defeat or thrill of victory, defining moments provide an opportunity to change.
For the time that is past already suffices for doing what the Gentiles like to do—living [as you have done] in shameless, insolent wantonness, in lustful desires, drunkenness, reveling, drinking bouts and abominable, lawless idolatries, 1 Peter 4:3.
If anyone had a reason to change, it was one of Jesus’ disciples. John 21:15-21 details Peter’s first interaction with Jesus following his public denial. Jesus asked Peter, “do you love me” three times as if remind Peter of his failure to acknowledge his friendship with Jesus three times. Hearing these words likely pierced Peter’s heart, creating an intense desire to never deny his faith again.
They are astonished and think it very queer that you do not now run hand in hand with them in the same excesses of dissipation, and they abuse [you]. 5 But they will have to give an account to Him Who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead, 1 Peter 4:4-5.
When I was a new Christian in high school, I really didn’t know what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. Attending spiritual retreats in college pushed me in the right direction to the point where I had to decide if I wanted Jesus to take the wheel of my life? This is what the Bible refers to as the lordship of Christ, Philippians 2:9-11. Over the course of your life, you’ll likely receive bad information and instructions. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make problems go away. Rather, Jesus has a dumping station where you can unload excess weight, Matthew 11:28-30. This is the reason I changed, Romans 10:9-11.
by Jay Mankus