The Most Difficult Way
Additions to Work on – Part 2
Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-11
Key Verse: 2 Peter 1:8
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.
Continuing from yesterday’s devotional, we see a third quality to add to our faith: self-control (“egkrateia” in Greek). This is undoubtedly one of the most important qualities if we are truly going to always respond to people with love! Sinful people know how to deal with other sinful people; they’ve done that all their lives. We can only truly impact sinful people with a love that is out of this world—Christ like love! In order to demonstrate this love through our actions and reactions, we need high doses of self-control.
When people treat us unkindly, our first gut reaction comes from our flesh, not our spirit. The flesh wants to strike back—give them a piece of our mind, but when God helps us use “divine resourced” self-control, we can respond out of our spirit, rather than our flesh. Add to your faith self-control. Practice it at home with your family. It will stretch your patience and exercise your spiritual muscles to treat people better than they deserve!
The next quality Peter tells us to add (“hupomone”) is translated in the New International Version as “perseverance.” The Greek word Peter used leans toward endurance or steadfastness. Loving difficult people can’t be a part time hobby. We must ask God to help us develop a consistent lifestyle that shows up every day! People far from God need to witness the consistency of Christ in us!
Father, I can never live out a lifestyle of love unless you help me. I will work hard to cooperate with your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.