Luke 22:32 "But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers."
Jesus KNEW Peter was going to mess up. He doesn't say here that His prayer was that Peter wouldn't have an imperfect moment or action, but that his faith wouldn't fail when he did. That way, not only would he return to Him, but be better equipped to aid the other followers of Christ in their walks.
This got me to thinking - as Christians, we fail. Sometimes a little, sometimes MISERABLY, but we fail just the same. So what is our reaction when this occurs? Do we run back to the way we were before Christ, counting it all as a waste? Do we repent and try not to mess up again, all the while secretly sulking in embarrassment that we are human and erred? Or do we embrace the mistake along with the grace and forgiveness He gives, make the determination to change, and take what we learned to those around us? More than likely, they need it too. They need the reminder that even when they mess up, they're still loved by the King; they need the reminder that they're saved by God's grace, not by works; and most importantly they need to remember that the important thing is to get back on the horse and press on.
It's simple, really. Not in execution, maybe, but that's more our fault than His.