For this 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 love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 So we have looked at faith, goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance and godliness….finally the end: mutual affection, love.
philadelphía /phílos, “loving friend” and adelphós, “a brother” – properly, affection for the brethren (fellow-believers). Biblehub
The verse starts out “Make every effort”…. so that’s proof that mutual affection and love don’t come naturally! It does take effort to love others and demonstrate that love. It is a risk to reach out and there is always the chance we will be taken advantage of…YIKES! Plus, sometimes folks can get on your nerves. LOL
At a pretty dark time of my life, God sent me a friend I call “Bright Shining Star.” Actually He didn’t send her to me, I wandered into her path! Sundays were a REALLY long day after my daughter graduated and flew away to her place in the world. I lived in a “mill town” in Southwest Washington and discovered there was a really cool church in Seaside, Oregon. The pretty drive took 1 1/2 hours each way, a good way to eat up 3 hours of the day. : )
I didn’t have friends that attended that church and I had been introduced to Laura but didn’t know her well. I was happily surprised with the cheerful welcome she gave me when she noticed I was sitting by myself. She always said “Come sit with us!” It meant so much because I dislike sitting by myself and her welcome was like a bright shining star to me.
It wouldn’t have offended me if I ended up sitting by myself. But Laura’s reaching out was “making every effort” because kindness is expressed with action. What was the result? I felt accepted and welcomed and sure that I was going in the right direction.
Showing love and kindness is an assignment, and if I feel stale and unfulfilled that is the hint that I am not “adding mutual affection and love”. Freshness and happiness comes from giving out, not taking in.
I remember a song I learned from my Sunday School days, “Jesus and Others and You…what a wonderful way to spell joy. “J” is for Jesus cause He takes first place, “O” is for others who run in this race. “Y is for you and whatever you do, put “J” in first place and spell “JOY”.
Laura was my “bright shining star” back in 2003! We are true sisters in the Lord as you can see by the paint we smeared on each others faces last summer at a paint party. Sometimes I still call her “Bright Star” and I will never forget her effort to make me feel included.
Laura and me after a painting her livingroom!
We are finally finished with 2 Peter 1: 5-7. Verse 8 says : 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. IN OTHER WORDS: GROW!
When I study the Word it impacts me the day I read it, but the impact that I felt on day one doesn’t usually stick. I need something fresh and new daily just like I need food every day. However this Bible study has brought a new and lasting impact on my self-control and I feel growth in that area. YAY! Because the Word changes us.