About 8 and a half years ago, we had the privilege of having our own house built. We had bought the land in October but opted to wait until spring to break ground rather than have our house built in the dead of winter. So finally in April of 2011, I remember driving by our land and seeing that the excavation process had finally started. We then had the joy (at least for the most part!) of watching our house slowly but surely be built over the next 4 months. After the excavation we got to see the foundation and basement built and then, day by day, week by week, our house came together. The carpenters, electricians, plumbers and other parts of the construction crew all did their jobs, all the way down to the little details of electrical switches and door jams. And finally, in August of that year, we finally were able to move in!
In a similar way, our reading today talks about a “building project”; however, this one does not include cinderblocks or nails, but instead godly character traits. 2 Peter 1:5-7 reads, “Beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
Here we see Peter listing some godly character traits that should be added to your faith. Some commentators believe these to be listed in the specific order they should be worked on while others say the order is irrelevant. Either way, let’s take a quick peek at each of these traits that all of us should be actively trying to build in our lives.
- Virtue- the idea of a general goodness
- Knowledge- an increasing knowledge of God and His Word
- Temperance- self-control
- Patience- a steadiness or steadfastness through the trials of life
- Godliness- an overall sense of exhibiting godly traits
- Brotherly kindness- or brotherly affection
- Charity- selfless love
If that list looks a bit overwhelming, don’t feel alone! God’s plan of sanctification is certainly a life-long process that we obviously will not fully attain until we get to heaven. But may we be diligent to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit so that we might see these traits grow in each of our lives.