“…. To your Faith add Virtue (moral excellence), and to virtue add Knowledge. Then to knowledge add Self-control. To self-control add Perseverance. Supplement perseverance with Godliness, and to Godliness add brotherly Kindness. Finally to brotherly Kindness add Love for all.” 2 Peter chapter 1:5-7
This is indeed a tall order! For all those who see themselves as followers of Christ, this is a command about character building and there is nothing easy about it. But we do not have to be discouraged – God knows very well what we cannot do without His power. So even before Peter wrote that command he told us that all the help we would need is already provided by God: “…His divine power has given us all things that are necessary for Christian living and Godliness….. We are given exceeding great and precious promises that by these we might become partakers of His divine nature….” 2 Peter 1: 3-4.
So God does not call us to high standards, to imitate Him, and then turn away leaving us to struggle on our own. He knew we would fail! So He made provisions for us and is ready to give all the help that we can ask.
Therefore whether we fail or succeed is up to us. God is faithful and always does His share. It is up to us now to start adding and building character; to practice what He tells us in His Word. It is up to us to play our part, to cooperate with Him to build our character. He wants to transform us into Christ- like people so that we can share in His divine nature.
Let us be determined to be what God wants us to be, and to seek all the help He is so eager to give. St. Paul writing to the Corinthians, some of who were becoming slothful, says: “We beseech you also that you receive not the Grace (help, gift etc.) of God in vain.” 2 Corinthians 6:1 Never let God’s help to you be offered in vain! Take it! Use it!
Faith + Virtue + Knowledge + Self-control + Perseverance + Godliness + Kindness + Love = A divine, Christ- like character.
- Al Jones