Eight ways to increase our effectiveness in Christ-Part Six
2 Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Let’s continue our look at 2 Peter 1:5-9. So far, we studied about how our faith in Jesus provides the foundation upon which we build everything else and added an understanding of what virtue, knowledge, self-control, and steadfastness mean. If you missed those lessons, you can read them here: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, and steadfastness.
The next quality we should add is godliness. Strong’s Concordance defines godliness as reverence and respect toward God. Godliness is sometimes translated as holiness.
I Timothy 4:7-8 uses this same word and gives us additional insight for developing this trait. “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Notice how Paul compares seeking godliness to physical training. We are to push and excel. This is not a haphazard approach, but rather an intentional pursuit to attain reverence and respect for God. As Paul states in this verse, the benefits of pursuing godliness far outweigh the advantages of physical development. This doesn’t mean we neglect our physical bodies. It does mean we should put even more effort into developing godliness as it reaps eternal rewards.
By pursuing godliness, we achieve proper priority and perspective. Jesus commanded this in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” As we put God first and seek to respect and revere Him, the needs and other concerns and cares of life will be provided.
What does reverence and respect for God look like in our everyday life? For me it means spending time with God every morning, studying His Word, and praying. It requires quick and cheerfully obedience to what He has called me to do. It responds in unconditional love and acceptance when dealing with a person who irritates or frustrates me. It bridles my tongue and guards my mouth, often by staying silent when my flesh desires otherwise. Reverence and respect also demand excellence in my work, attitudes, and actions, regardless of how I am feeling. It means saying “no” to opportunities if they don’t allow me to accomplish other commitments or get the rest I need.
These are a few examples of how we show reverence and respect to our Heavenly Father. I would love to hear what ways you demonstrate this in your own life. Just add a comment below. I know it will encourage others.
Next week we will study the seventh quality that supplements our faith – brotherly affection. I hope you will join me.