Devotional: October 12, 2021
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.
Second Peter 1: 5-8 The Message
This list of spiritual virtues might be compared to the better-known “fruits of the spirit” from Galatians 5: 22-23. Both lists contain a number of qualities we ought to aspire to develop as followers of Christ.
Jeana used to have a clever plaque listing the fruits of the spirit. However, each “fruit of the spirit” was painted to look like it was in a jelly jar. The intent of the artist was to show how each fruit should be used in everyday life, and not just be saved for special events.
Each ingredient in this list of spiritual virtues needs to be blended together with the others, in order for the recipe to be enjoyed. Anyone who has ever left out a key ingredient can attest to what happens to a cooked or baked creation when something is left out. When one ingredient is missing, it can affect the taste of the whole dish.
This passage is speaking to the fact that every quality is important. If we think that we can get by without one or two, we are deceiving ourselves. When we put these virtues into practice on a daily basis, they become a healthy good habit, enriching our lives.
To help us all do that we ought to ask ourselves the following questions:
Would most people consider me to be of good character?
Am I striving to improve my spiritual understanding?
Do I come across as disciplined, or undisciplined?
How patient am I?
Do I take the time to admire the wonders of God’s creation?
Am I the kind of person who befriends people easily?
Where do I need to grow in my love for my neighbors?
It is not easy to excel in every area of our lives. There may be people in our lives who frustrate us, and challenge us. Those are the moments when we truly must turn to the Lord. Each of us should ask Him to help us dig deeper into our faith, and use the spiritual inventory of faith, good character, patience, etc., which we have stocked in our cupboards.
As we all work on growing our faith, don’t hesitate to look at these “recipes” for faithful living, so that we can make sure we have included all the ingredients. Then, don’t forget to mix gently, for we all need each other to grow and nurture our faith.
Lord of all,
I am so thankful that you have created me as Your child. Help me to use the unique gifts and strengths You have given to me. They are a blessing, with which I may bless others. Forgive me when I fail to embrace these qualities, and especially, those which are hardest for me. May I bring glory to your name, so that I may grow where I am weak. Thank you for your patience to teach and reteach me. Help me to build and grow into the person who brings you joy and praise. I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.