For a Lifetime
Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, . . . knowledge, . . . self-control, . . . patient endurance, . . . godliness, and . . . brotherly affection with love for everyone (vv.5-7).
David Brooks, in his book The Social Animal, details how Gary McPherson studied 157 randomly selected children who had chosen to play a musical instrument. McPherson wanted to know why some students went on to become really good musicians and why others faltered. He believed there was one factor. Even before the kids picked up their instruments, McPherson asked: “How long do you think you will play?” The students who planned to play for a short while did not become very proficient. The students who planned to practice and play their whole lives became very good musicians.
Peter reminded his readers that it was vital for them to have a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus. Only then could they soar in their faith and experience an ever-deepening relationship with him.
Peter penned a symphony of grace, urging the young believers he was addressing to continue on toward Christian maturity. He lifted up God’s promised spiritual resources that every true believer possesses in Jesus (2 Peter 1:3). Peter also wanted them to know that it would take every ounce of effort, along with the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to supplement their faith with a complement of Christlike character traits (v.5). His readers were told to work hard at cultivating moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (vv.5-7). And, if they cultivated these character traits throughout their lives, they would become more like Jesus (v.8).
Growing in our relationship with Jesus isa lifelong process and endeavor. If we’re fully convinced and determined that we will follow Jesus all our years, it’s highly likely that our faith will take wing and soar. How strong is your commitment to follow Him?
Which of the qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5 do you most want to add to your character traits? How will you begin developing a godly quality today?