“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” (2 Peter 1:5-10, ESV)
Today I’d like for us to mindfully consider our past. For we can only be truly grateful to God for our salvation as we remember from whence we have come. I certainly don’t expect (or recommend!) that we spend inordinate amounts of time dwelling in the past, but that from time to time we remind ourselves of what we were like before we came to Christ.
In our text for the day, Peter admonishes us to grow. He makes an assumption that once we are in Christ our character will change. Not only will we receive a clean slate when we are saved, but we also will continue to develop the virtues that we became able to develop.
Before we came to faith in Christ, we could only sin. Romans 14:23 is clear that “whatever is not of faith is sin.” Once we came to faith, the ability to please God through our actions also became ours. But it doesn’t end there.
In addition to receiving this ability to please God through our actions, we have been given the opportunity to continually grow and develop in every thought, word, and deed. Becoming a Christian is not the “be all and end all.” We must constantly mature our faith. If we do not, we will lose our spiritual eyesight.
Peter wrote that when we don’t develop and grow our thoughts and actions toward Christlikeness, and when we don’t we are nearsighted, only seeing where we are now. Hindsight acts as a reminder and a pair of spiritual spectacles that provides a reminder of the great grace that was shown to us through Jesus and His atoning death and resurrection.
We must not be afraid to look back from time to time. This not only serves as a reminder of who we once were, but also a banner of encouragement that pushes us along when we are feeling weak, and not up to the task of growth.
This week let us each take some time to remember. Remember and grow.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!
Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash