Read: 2Pet 1:1-21
Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8
With persecution increasing and a sense of his time on earth being short, Peter writes this second letter to instruct the churches on how to live out their faith.
Peter comes up with a list of character traits that seem to build one on another. This is the stuff Christians should be working on in our own lives as we seek to follow God. It starts with faith because faith is the starting point. But then he adds moral excellence, then knowledge, then self-control, then patient endurance, then godliness, then brotherly affection and finally love for everyone. Those are worth taking some time and meditating on and working on in our own lives.
For Peter, any one of these traits is not enough by itself – we must round out our Christian character in all these areas. Truth be told, every one of us has a propensity towards one of these areas. Some of us are drawn to simple faith, others to theological knowledge, while others self-control or love. Peter is saying that we must keep going. We must keep developing a well-rounded Christ-like character.
Peter goes on to say the more we add these traits, the more productive we will be for Jesus. Basically, that our usefulness in God’s kingdom, in some way, is dependent on our growth in Christ.
This makes sense, but in this day and age it’s so common to find Christians stuck at the faith part and not growing in the other areas. The Beatles said all you need is love, but many modern Christians would say all you need is faith. Peter says it starts with faith but keep going, keep growing, keep becoming more and more useful to God and more and more like His son, Jesus.
So what do you need to work on – faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, or love for everyone? Take a look inside and identify an area or two to lean into. Find a friend to share with and start working on growing in Christ.
Heavenly Father – help me to grow in my faith and devotion to Jesus. Help me become more like Him. Empower me by your Holy Spirit to become the person you have created me to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.