But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. II Peter 1:5-7
Seven attributes Peter has given for saints to add to their faith and the last one is love. Now, I don’t know if he wrote these in order of importance, however, anyone who reads through the new testament would discern that the greatest of all these is love. Because love is the reason we have faith in the first place, without love there would be no reason to diligently strive to add anything to our faith. Yet, with love — as scripture describes it — we have the makings of each quality as each one is defined by love. Here’s how.
I Corinthians 13:4-7:
Love suffers long
God has shown us His love through sacrificing His Son for our unrighteousness which gives us hope to persevere through every trial. Our love suffers long in perseverance because God’s love has persevered for us.
and is kind
Acts of kindness for our brethren is what brotherly kindness is all about. We must love our brethren whom we have seen with a kind heart thus loving God whom we have not seen in return.
love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up
Being content and living for the spiritual above the physical encompasses the whole of godliness. Godly love will deter envy, parading, and the arrogance of being puffed up.
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil
It takes being proactive instead of being reactive to have self-control. Behaving rudely, seeking one’s own, being provoked, and thinking evil will be the actions of a reactive person. One who is self-controlled through proaction will let love guide their every thought and move.
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth
Knowledge from God’s word is how we know what is iniquity and what is truth. Love that rejoices in communion with God’s will is love that is full of the knowledge.
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Living with virtue will mean to go above and beyond what’s expected. This type of moral excellence requires love that bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things as virtue will go the distance in doing what’s right no matter the sacrifices needed.
It’s evident that love is the core of everything that we aspire to as Christians. We can be confident that if love abounds then so will virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness.
Want to add love? Define everything you seek by love and your efforts will diligently add to your faith as it is love that makes all these things possible.
Your love, oh Lord, is what makes all things possible, and I know that if I live with the same love Christ demonstrated then I will never be barren but fruitful in every effort to add to my faith. It is daily that I diligently strive to do this for it is through love that hope and the assurance of a better life to come becomes a reality. Amen.
Truth in love,
See also A New Year Focus