While studying the other night, God brought something to my attention that I wanted to share. It is imperative to have faith in our walk with Christ. The Bible even says that without faith it is impossible to please God. There’s no question about the importance of faith, but as I was reading 2 Peter 1, I noticed that Peter added a supplement to our faith. Now when I think of a supplement, I think of a vitamin. You do not take a vitamin to replace a meal; you take a vitamin to add additional nourishment to the meals you already eat. Vitamins help ensure you get all the nourishment you need in your body to stay healthy and strong.
Let’s apply this concept back to the scripture. When God wants you to grow, He makes you uncomfortable. Peter talks about a few supplements that when added to your faith will bring about growth. I like to call them spiritual growth supplements and I guarantee as you go through them you will find yourself a little uncomfortable. First is virtue. What is virtue? Virtue is moral excellence, integrity, and honesty. Then add to virtue knowledge; information, facts, data, familiarity. Add to knowledge self-control. Self-control can also be described as willpower, self-discipline or restraint. Next add patience; endurance, tolerance, lack of complaint, fortitude or serenity. Then sprinkle on a little kindness also known as compassion, sympathy, gentleness, thoughtfulness or consideration. Add godliness to the mix then top it off with love.
Wow, what an amazing list of character traits we need to supplement our faith. We should strive to operate in integrity at all times. Just to be clear, I do not think Peter is talking about school knowledge or getting multiple college degrees. He is talking about knowledge of the word of God. Knowledge and self-control go hand in hand because if you have the self-control to sit down and study the word of God, then you will gain knowledge. Self-control can really be applied in all areas of life. You need self-control so you don’t go off when someone starts yelling at you for no reason. You also need self-control not to eat a dozen fresh hot donuts all at once. A lot people expect others to be patient with them, but don’t extend that same grace. The world is moving so fast. I do not suggest praying for patience, but I do suggest making a conscious effort to use it. If we are patient, kindness comes a little easier. I believe that kindness is a trait that would literally change the world if everyone used it. Kindness should be extended to everyone. As the saying goes, treat others the way you want to be treated. Be kind, it really does go a long way. Godliness comes in one of three ways, and sometimes all of three ways; fasting, praying and studying the word of God. But the cherry on top of this delicious entrée is love. God is love, so there’s really nothing more that needs to be said about that.
When it comes to these growth supplements, you can’t just do one at a time. They must all be applied to your life simultaneously. Spiritual growth is apart of the process of getting you where God wants you to be. So although it may be a tough pill to swallow, it is required in order for you to get to that next level that God is taking you to.
Check out 2 Peter 1 and let me know what you think…