When a person receives a significant inheritance, the greatest care must be taken to preserve it and make it grow for future generations.
Likewise, every believer has received exceptional benefits that will require diligence to cultivate to the maximum.
In 2 Peter 1:5, “For this very reason” refers to the preceding context. We have received everything we need for a practical, godly lifestyle.
Peter describes a sevenfold personal development plan to keep us from squandering God’s investment. We are to “urgently determine to make every effort” to incorporate these seven attributes into our lifestyle.
We are to “urgently determine to make every effort”; this is a translation of the Greek verb spoude, which means “to speed, hasten, or apply diligence.” This effort is to “add to your faith” from a word (Gk., epichoregeo) that means to “supply furnish, or bring to bear alongside of,” thus to incorporate these seven attributes to your character.
The seriousness of our commitment to our personal development plan is evident in the steps we take to ensure that these traits become permanent characteristics of our lives.
The Spirit empowers our efforts to pursue sanctification: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:13).
These qualities begin with saving faith, to which a new believer is expected to “add,” or “to supply lavishly or generously.” Each attribute flows out of the former, thus “Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence (2Pe 1:5 NLT).”
“Virtue,” or “moral excellence,” speaks of heroic deeds demonstrated in normal living: “You received from us how you ought to walk and to please God” (1 Thes 4:1bNET).
To “excellence,” we are to add “knowledge,” or an “intellectual grasp,” of God’s word (2 Cor 6:6 and 8:7).
Next comes “self-control” (1 Pet 1:6), which means to “hold oneself in”; to that, add “perseverance,” which means “endurance in what is right, resisting temptation while enduring trials and difficulties.”
This leads to “godliness”—that is, a special “reverence for God or true worship.”
“Brotherly kindness” (1:7) is a consequence of true reverence for God.
Finally, we are to add a selfless and sacrificial “love” that reflects Christ’s character (Phil 1:9). Let us encourage each other in these virtues.
“Dear Father, every day is an opportunity to continue to add to my, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love, and knowledge of Your word. Only as I decide to obey Your commands can these characteristics truly become part of my life.”