The Wrong Side of Exception

John 18:16
“But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.”

“But Peter” seems to be the story of Peter’s life. He always seemed to be the one who did differently from the crowd. In the verse above, the other disciple followed Jesus through the door, but Peter stood without. In Luke 9:32, Jesus was praying in the garden, but Peter was asleep. In Matthew 26:58, Jesus was led away to be judged by Caiaphas, but Peter followed afar off. It seems from these instances that every time Peter had a “but” in his life that he was always on the wrong side of exception.

However, things changed in Peter’s life in the Book of Acts. When the crowds gathered on the day of Pentecost, they mocked the disciples for their ability to speak to every man in his own tongue. Acts 2:14 is when things changed with Peter when it says, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice…” Before this verse, every time the Scriptures said, “But Peter,” you could guarantee that he was about to do something that he would regret, but this time he changed his ability to be the exception and used it for good, and the rest of his life from this moment was changed.

Always being the exception in every circumstance is not always good. Many people want to be different for the sake of being different, but this mindset often leads to one day making decisions that you will regret like Peter did. My friend, you don’t always have to be the exception. Being different for the sake of being different often leads to regrets and heartache. Many people strive to be different from everyone else, but their desire for difference often becomes rebellion. There is nothing wrong with being like the crowd if the crowd is doing right.

Moreover, being on the wrong side of right should teach you when you should not be the exception. You would think that Peter would have learned from his previous experiences, but he seemed to continually be the exception and did things differently from everyone else to his own regret. When you see yourself constantly being on the wrong side of exception, you should realize that you have a character flaw that needs to be changed.

Furthermore, the best way to keep from being on the wrong side of the exception is to slow down from being the exception. One of the biggest reasons Peter found himself on the wrong side of exception is because he flippantly chose to be different every time. If your discernment of situations seems to be lacking, you would be wise to be slow to move before deciding on which side of the exception you choose.

Finally, let truth and right dictate your exception. Peter found himself standing on the right side of exception on the day of Pentecost because he was focused on truth and doing right. If your focus is on doing right and standing for truth, you will find yourself on the right side of being the exception.

My friend, could it be written about you that you are often on the wrong side of exception. Let me encourage you not to desire to always be different from everyone else; instead, focus on truth and doing right, and you will find yourself being the exception, not by choice, but you will be the exception because you are doing right when the crowd is doing wrong.

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