“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 18:12)
Both Peter and Judas took shameful falls. One got up though, the other stayed down.
Despite how humiliating a fall may be, restoration is always possible, provided there is humility. If pride goes before and after a fall, destruction can only continue.
Surely, when Peter returned to his fellow disciples he had to eat the biggest slice of “humble pie.” He was the one with the biggest mouth, declaring: “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” (Matt. 26:33) How embarrassing to admit to his peers that his talk far exceeded his walk.
Judas also was ashamed of his actions. So much so that he cried out: “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” (Matt. 27:4) No mercy was offered to him by the chief priests and the elders. How much did he fear the face of his fellow disciples? Worldly sorrow over the loss of his reputation led to his death.
The best thing we can do is stand ever true to God, walking in faithful obedience to Him. But the next best thing to do, if we fall, is to receive His mercy and restoration. No matter how little mercy men may have for us, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. We need to care more what God thinks of us than what man does. Man may never let our past failures go. But the Lord’s mercies are new every morning, and He gives grace to the humble.