I was reading in 2 Peter a couple of days ago, and I felt that Peter really lined out some critical aspects that need to be apart of every Christians character. As I look to always build upon myself, making my best effort to live the life of a fruitful person, I find that reading the Bible is one of the best ways to get wisdom in life.
Peter first acknowledged that we should have FAITH. We all as Christians should always be cognizant on our personal level of faith, and with the desire to increase it to a higher level. I was recently sitting in church as my pastor was giving an altar call for those who needed to be healed of something. Sitting, I thought to myself, “If I needed to be healed, do I have the faith to walk to the front of the church and be prayed over?” The answer was no. And, without going into the discussion of ‘God can heal anyone anywhere, and if God wanted me to be healed, then I would be healed’, which is a feeling a lot of Christians feel, and not to say that it is an untrue feeling. But, I want faith enough to believe that anyone at anytime can pray over me, and God’s power can flow through them so I can receive my healing (or whatever it is I need). And, not have what I call, ‘arguable scriptural excuses’.
Secondly, we need to get MORAL EXCELLENCE. As I spend time around many people from high school to young adults, I feel that moral excellence is so far from the mind and heart of today’s society. Many people don’t really know what moral excellence is. And, not to say that I’m Webster’s Dictionary, but I feel I have a good understanding of what it is. To me moral excellence can be defined as, the pursuit to do what is right as one can discerns the distinction between right and wrong, in every situation. I know it’s hard to do. It’s tough for me to drive the speed limit, even though I know it’s the right thing to do.
Thirdly, we should acquire KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge is power. If a person doesn’t know how to do something, how can you expect them to do it. Reading the Bible is a great way to receive knowledge and wisdom, even for non-Christians. A good example of how the lack of knowledge has affected society, can be seen in many people’s normal misconception of what love is. I think so many young people have never really known love, and received a good definition of what love is. And, since they have no knowledge of love, they can’t express the trueness of what it is. So they attribute love to certain actions, and they attach their understanding of what love is to them; so they form their own definition of love, without having knowledge of what love is and how it should be expressed and felt.
The fourth character trait we as Christians should seek for, is SELF-CONTROL. Can you really control yourself? Do you have control of your actions, or are you a slave to your desires? Music is so influential in our society. What are the words that our young generation are listening to, repeating, and singing? Most young people, I believe couldn’t drive their car with the radio off, just for one day. I see kids bobbing their heads up and down for hours, repeating the profane language that is used in their choice preference of music, but can’t sit for 10 minutes in a classroom setting to focus their attention on learning the things that will enrich them for a lifetime.
Fifth is PERSEVERANCE. This is something I dearly need. To persevere… To go through a storm and come out on the other side with the same confidence and character that you had before the storm came. To continually try and try, even though you know your chance of succeeding is very minimal. To help people, knowing they don’t want your help, but having the understanding that if you can persevere through it all, knowing that your time spent was worthwhile if you could just help one out of a thousand. And, to persevere through hard times in a relationship knowing that your commitment to that person means more than mere words. Life is all about perseverance.
I think that the sixth and seventh character traits are one in the same. The former being basically an expression of the latter. BROTHERLY KINDNESS and LOVE. Love is given it’s best definition in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 – I won’t even enter into the arena of everything that love encompasses. Love isn’t really simply an act… it’s more of a lifestyle, at least to me. And, to show brotherly kindness to others, isn’t just about smiling every time you see someone, or giving a couple of dollars to poor people. It also can best be shown in honesty and respect. I believe someone could show me brotherly kindness even if they didn’t like me, if they told me, “Hey Jason, I don’t like you at all.” I would be like, “OK. That’s cool.” At least they respected me enough to tell me the truth.
2 Peter 1:5-7 NASB — 5Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.