Ezekiel 35-36 2 Peter 1
“Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God; and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7 NCV)
Peter had reminded his readers that they had faith from God and that He gave them all that they needed to live. Because of that, he urged them to grow in their Christian walk by adding a number of different qualities to their lives: goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, service to God, kindness for fellow Christians, and then love. Peter had a good understanding of what Christians need to do to become the people God’s called them to be. Maybe if we spent more time concentrating on adding these qualities in our lives, we’d avoid the negative qualities that people often attribute to Christians: judgmentalism, greed, apathy, etc.
An important truth to remember about adding these qualities to our lives is that while Peter listed them one after the other, we don’t finish goodness, before we start adding knowledge. We don’t finish knowledge before adding self-control, and so forth. These qualities grow and increase our ability to exhibit other qualities. As I show more goodness, it increases my faith. As I grow in the knowledge of God, I realize how to show more goodness, which then increases my faith and so on. Ultimately, the more we love, the more of all of these other qualities we can show in our lives. Ironically, the more of each of these qualities we develop, the more we recognize how much we’re lacking in those qualities and how much more we could grow in them. As we seek to grow in these qualities, we become more like Christ, people want to be around us more, and have more opportunities to share His love with others.
Lord, these words of Peter convict me because I need more of each of these qualities in my life. I need to be more like You and show people the difference You make in my life. Empower me to grow in all these areas of my life.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.