"For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love."
(2 Peter 1:5-7)
Interested in support your faith (well, who isn't, right?!)? The author of 2nd Peter has a few suggestions: goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. Now maybe he was simply listing a bunch of things that all come in to play when "supporting your faith." Then again, maybe it's something more...
As I thought about these, I wondered if there was a natural progression to these attributes? Could it be that it all starts with goodness... a desire and willingness to do the right thing!? Then you add knowledge... insight & understanding - which can expand one's horizon's greatly! With that new-found knowledge, add self-control... here's where the "rubber meets the road," so to speak. Knowing what's right and wrong and choosing to obey. Self-control is greatly underrated in our society. What can aid self-control? Endurance! Having a vision of "the big picture" or "the long haul," and not settling for anything temporary or fleeting, no matter how enticing it may be. Once endurance has kicked in, godliness starts forming... a consistent lifestyle that echoes what God desires from us. With an increased sense of godliness, one is able to have mutual affection towards others - no longer focused solely on self, a believer is open to having affectionate feelings toward all. The ultimate progression of faith, however, culminates in genuine love. Not an "I love this!" passing fancy... but a deep & sincere love. A love that can change people and transform the world.
Sound hard to believe? Sound too good to be true? It's not as far away as you might think... and it all starts with goodness.