I was reading 2 Peter, chapter 1, in my Bible last night, and I really loved verses 5-7:
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 2 Peter 1:5-7
To supplement your faith, means to add to it all the things listed above.
When I read all the things I am to add to my faith, I realize that I am lacking in even the simple knowledge of some of them! So, what I'm going to do is take each "supplement" and expand on it a little bit, so that I can teach myself how to have it and make it a habit in my life.
The first is moral excellence.
Last night, I came up with several reasons why this was extremely important to add to your faith:
- Moral excellence adds "meat" to your faith. (Luke 3:8)
- Faith without deeds (excellent moral actions) is dead. (James 1:17-18)
- We should treat others better than ourselves, "considering ourselves nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant" if we are to imitate Christ properly. (Phil. 2:7)
- People identify us by the fruit (actions we produce) we have, and if we have none they don't know what kind (or whose) tree we are.
- We are called to be imitators of Christ (Eph. 1:5), and Jesus lived a blameless life.
Now, obviously we can't do it perfectly like Jesus did. But we are called to do everything as if unto him, and that will always result in our best. Jesus knows your heart.
Something else I was thinking about while I was doing this in order to help myself gain the characteristics in my own faith, was how low the standards for human kindness has dropped.
think about it:
We are to have moral excellence. That means we are to have excellent upright standings and actions and words.
But nowadays, you're considered "morally excellent" if you do simple things that should be classified as "morally normal" or "morally duhhhhh."
For example, just holding the door open for people is considered morally excellent sometimes. Picking up something that someone else has dropped is considered morally excellent. After all, we are pretty surprised when something like that is done, especially if that person is a teenager.
But neither of those things are morally excellent. They are common sense things that every person should do without even thinking. Sadly, we don't, and now they are labeled as morally excellent.
Think, for a moment, then, what our actions as Christians could do for the Kingdom if we acted morally excellent. If we went above and beyond, and stretched ourselves to act like Jesus. Or at least the disciples.
We would blow the world away.
We would, with our kindness and selflessness!
Please don't think I'm preaching to you. I'm just telling you how God's been teaching me through His Word and what I need to work on in my own life. My prayer and hope is that if you're not a Christian, you can see, through my life, that Christians are not perfect. We fail miserably most of the time, because we are sinful.
And, just like we talked about last night at youth, the only thing that saves us is the Good News, which is not one story in itself, but all aspects of Christ's life, miracles, death, resurrection, restoration, and promises.
It's very Good News.
So, anyway, I'm working on moral excellence for a while. And then I'll move on to the other "supplements". :)
I hope y'all have a great Thursday!
I love you all!