For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Peter 1:8
The adventure of life comes from knowing that we are participating with God. He provides everything. So why do we sometimes feel ineffective and unproductive?
Second Peter 1:5-7 lists eight qualities that will keep us from being ineffective if we continue to grow in them throughout life.
- Faith (what God reveals) - God reveals things to us, not necessarily unique to us but things that are to be shared.
- Goodness (the stuff we do because of what we believe is true) - Faith without goodness is just a dream that goes nowhere.
- Knowledge (more than an opinion) - God provides resources to learn. Without adding knowledge, faith becomes weak fiction of our imagination.
- Self-control (thinking before acting) - God must lead. I must follow otherwise the things God reveals take the path of human reasoning.
- Perseverance (sticking with it) - Our own determination won't keep us going. It's easy to quit if its just about me and what I want. To be effective, we must accept the struggle of self-control.
- Godliness (all the characteristics of God) - It's God's character that makes any effort productive. Self-control and perseverance bring about godliness. We can't impress others with who we are for very long. Godliness draws people to God.
- Brotherly Kindness (working as a family) - This is the natural mentoring that happens between siblings. Appreciation, respect, care and working together for the sake of the family name.
- Love (considering the best for others) - Love draws people to each other and is the source of strength for every other quality in this list: love of God, love for God, and love for others.