Add To Your Faith

I went to a leadership conference last week that centered around the idea of expanding your horizons.

Of broadening your leadership potential.

Of exponentially adding to your portfolio the size and reach and breadth and influence of those to whom you provide direction.

The majority of the conference detailed the intricate steps one should take in maximizing his or her potential, because there is a seed of potential inside of us all, and it’s just waiting to bloom.

If you’re not someone with several thousand followers all looking to you, if you don’t have that kind of audience or influence, you may want to attend this conference. It will show you how.

But you know, what I found troubling about all this is not one of those speakers mentioned what Peter mentions in the passage below. And I find this oversight to be rampant in our culture.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 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. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins” (2 Peter 1:5-9).

Christian leadership is not a race to the top; Christian leadership is a race to the bottom.

A race to become last. To become the servant of all. To wash the feet of as many others as you can and to put the needs of others first.

And the more closely you walk with Christ, the more that word “others” expands, until it swallows up even the most troubling of others, together with their needs, their wants. The people hardest to love.

In this passage, Peter touches on this idea. He says here that if we want to keep “from being ineffective and unproductive,” we will work on “possessing these qualities in increasing measure” (8).

No five step plan. No seminar. No conference.

To keep from being unproductive and ineffective in the Kingdom, we must develop inside of ourselves, essentially, the fruit of the Spirit.

It’s small.

You want to change the world?

Then make every effort to become more godly.

That’s it.

Jesus, how I wish that in all our attempts to become famous and have fanbases and followings, we would not lose sight of this.

Peter starts by listing some tangible, practical goals. And I love that. Because I figure I can grab one of these by the horns every day and try to find a way to put it into practice in my life.

I have highlighted this verse on the Bible app on my phone and made it my background, so that every time I reach for my phone I remember the challenge, the one thing I’m trying to “add to my faith” (5).

And each day I can highlight one place in my life where I’m failing at that. And I can work on not succumbing to that habit anymore.

And these small, incremental shifts are promised by Peter to protect me from wasting my life.

If I’m growing in this area, the rest, as Jesus says, “will be added to me” (Matthew 6:33).

God forgive us for always thinking big when You seem to have called us to think small. To sweat the small stuff. And that our faithfulness in the small stuff leads to opportunities to steward the larger. Go with me on this journey. Help me to add just one new thing to my faith every day. Amen.

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