Here's what I think...
(I would love to know how many clicked on this link versus how many scrolled right on past it. Hearing what I think is a scary gamble.)
I love to read the letters out of the New Testament. It is amazing to read the Salutations. Where we start letters as, “Dear Sir,” or “Hey!” or “Wassup!?” those writing the letters included in the New Testament began their letters with far more elegance and humility.
An example is 2 Peter 1:1-9. Wow! What a way to start a letter. Peter begins with total and complete humility addressing himself as “a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ.” In other words, Peter is totally and completely sold out to faith. Then, he moves on sharing who the letter is written to: “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Who was he talking to? Us!
Peter shows the progression of faith. First, there is faith. Then comes virtue and to virtue is added knowledge. Knowledge brings the faithful self-control. Self-control produces perseverance. With perseverance, we see godliness in our lives and reflect brotherly kindness. To wrap it all up in the perfect package of sacrifice and service to King Jesus is none other than love.
The exciting thing about faith is that we should continue to see these attributes grow stronger and greater in our lives. Do we? Are they?
Here’s what I think: too many of us think faith is a Sunday-morning-kind-of-thing. Others of us think that faith is something our parents give us and we have it simply because they wanted us to have it. The truth is faith is very individualized and is based on a) our acceptance of God’s role in our lives, and b) our desire (or lack thereof) to grow closer and closer to Him.
Faith is circular; not linear. In other words, we continue a cycle of faith – virtue – knowledge – self- control – perseverance – godliness – brotherly kindness – love; and then we start all over again going deeper into our faith to see our lives reflect these qualities more fully.
Where are you on the scale? Is there a particular place you stalled or wanted to skip? It’s all necessary. Well, that’s what I think.