Saturday, November 11, 2006

Adding to our Faith

It dawned on me that my last post on perseverance was the latest in a series, but the series started in my other blog. In order to bring some consistency to all of this, I’m going to repost the first parts of this series here.
I’ve been meditating recently on 2 Peter 1:5-7. My goal is to post what God teaches me through this passage. The verses read this way in the NKJV. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”
The first thing I’m challenged with is the requirement of diligence. According to an online dictionary, diligence is the earnest and persistent application to an undertaking, steady effort, attentive care and heedfulness. According to 2 Peter 1:5-8 we are to give diligence to add to our faith. This tells me that it will not take place "automatically". Of necessity there will be effort required and that effort will have to be earnest and persistent. In other words we are not to begin the task and then let it just fizzle out. It is something we are to give our attention to so that we achieve the desired results.
What is it then that we are supposed to be doing? We are to add various characteristics to our life and this passage implies a step-wise sequence. To "add" in this case means "to supply". We are to add or supply these traits in our faith. When we are asked to supply something, it is important to take the responsibility to follow through. If someone asks us to supply the pop for a picnic, we need to think through how many people are going to be there, what flavors might be needed and whether we will need to bring ice and glasses. It doesn’t do any good to think that through if we don’t go to the store and actually buy the stuff we need for the picnic. And then buying it doesn’t do any good if we don’t bring it so the people can enjoy it. In the same way we are to supply our faith with certain things. We need to be diligent about examining our life and providing these characteristics in the appropriate measure as they are needed. In addition, there is a specific sequence here and so it is important that we pay attention to the significance of that sequence. I’ll try to follow through in subsequent postings as I work my way through this passage.

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