A young American engineer was sent to Ireland by his company to work in a new electronics plant. It was a two-year assignment that he had accepted because it would enable him to earn enough to marry his long-time girlfriend.
She had a job near her home in Tennessee, and their plan was to pool their resources and put a down payment on a house when he returned. They corresponded often, but as the lonely weeks went by, she began expressing doubts that he was being true to her, exposed as he was to comely Irish lasses.
The young engineer wrote back, declaring with some passion that he was paying absolutely no attention to the local girls. "I admit," he wrote, "that sometimes I'm tempted. But I fight it. I'm keeping myself for you."
In the next mail, the engineer received a package. It contained a note from his girl and a harmonica. "I'm sending this to you," she wrote, "so you can learn to play it and have something to take your mind off those girls."
The engineer replied, "Thanks for the harmonica. I'm practicing on it every night and thinking of you."
At the end of his two-year stint, the engineer was transferred back to company headquarters. He took the first plane to Tennessee to be reunited with his girl. Her whole family was with her, but as he rushed forward to embrace her, she held up a restraining hand and said sternly, "Just hold on there a minute, Billy Bob. Before any serious kissin' and huggin' gets started here, let me hear you play that harmonica!"
As it read this story, I could not help but be reminded of the conversation that unfolded between the risen Lord Jesus and the Apostle Peter in the New Testament Gospel of John, chapter 21, verses 15-17:
15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
The young lady in the story above was looking for her boyfriend to prove his love for her. In like manner, Jesus Christ was asking the Apostle Peter to prove his love for Him!
And what Jesus asked of Peter, He still asks of those of us who follow Him today! He asks us to prove it - to prove our love for Him as our Lord and Savior!
As the old saying goes, “Talk is cheap!” We must always be ready, willing, and able to back up our claims with actions! And so, my friend, if you profess faith in and commitment to Jesus Christ as you Lord and Savior, be ready at any time to prove it!
Otherwise, as was the case for Peter in John's Gospel, chapter 21, your words will have little significance!
Bits & Pieces Magazine,October 15, 1992, pp. 17-18.