In 2 Peter 1, Peter instructs us as Believers to add things to our lives. He says, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” It’s quite a list: Virtue, Knowledge, Self-Control, Perseverance, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, and Love.
If we take all of those character qualities and look at them as a whole, we can easily get overwhelmed. “How am I supposed to ADD ALL OF THOSE to my Faith?” And there are many other passages in the Bible that tell us to add things to our faith as a Christian and to grow. Such as, “But GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
As a TRUE Christian, we are not to sit here stagnant and do nothing. We are to CONTINUE perfecting and growing our faith and changing our lives to become more like Him. And many people who start out to add these important things to their lives get discouraged because they look at ALL of the passages about growing and adding and think, “How am I supposed to do ALL of this?”
The key is to not try to change our life overnight. It’s a process – one step at a time. Looking back at the passage in 2 Peter 1. We first learn to add virtue to our faith. Then, we learn to add knowledge, then self-control…etc., It takes time. We just have to keep working at it.
Now, if we plant an apple seed in the ground, we won’t look out there the next day and see a full grown apple tree with plenty of ripe apples on it. No, it takes 2 to 5 years for an apple tree to grow and begin to produce fruit. It’s a process…one step at a time. Now, I’m not suggesting we take 2 to 5 years before we being producing fruit in our Christian life, the point is – don’t expect everything to happen all at once.
When we become a Christian, we don’t suddenly stop doing anything wrong and start doing great things for God. We first begin to read and study our Bible. Then the Holy Spirit begins to work in our lives and show us what we need to get rid of and change. When we start to get rid of some of the sins and wrongs in our lives, we may find more stuff we need to change. Then we add the stuff we DO need in our lives, and as we add stuff, we find more things we need to add.
Paul wrote in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” The more we renew our minds, the more of a transformation we will see. One step at a time. However, we HAVE to take the first step. Someone once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step!” And that is how it works in the Christian life. We take the first step by believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Now, unfortunately too many people then look at all the other steps they need to take and say “Impossible!” Don’t spend all your time looking WAY down the road – you’ll only get discouraged. Rather, say “What can I change TODAY?” And then take the step.