Last month, I wrote about how faith is an essential foundation for effectiveness and productivity, according to 2 Peter 1:3-8. Now I want to look at the second of God’s “Steps to Success”—goodness.
When I was growing up, my parents frequently commented on how “good” I was. It’s true that I tended to be obedient—and when I wasn’t, well, I was pretty good at not getting caught! But this isn’t the kind of “good” that Peter means.
While “good” can mean “satisfactory,” God has higher standards. I was a satisfactory child, but I certainly wasn’t good in the Biblical sense!
On most mornings, I grab my breakfast and a cup of tea, open my Bible, and start the day with God… so it happened that last week I, while munching on scrambled eggs and toast, I read 2 Peter 1:3, 5-8.
[Jesus’] divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness….
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 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.
I immediately fixated on that last sentence. Who wants to be ineffective and unproductive? The chart-topping sales of The Purpose-Driven Life tells us that this is a Big Deal for us believers. It is certainly a concern of mine. In fact, after our kids grew up and moved out I spent a lot of years wondering and praying about what God would have me do with the rest of my life. I felt very ineffective and unproductive, and it was quite depressing.
I should have spent more time hearing what Peter (and God through him) had to say here.