The characteristics of a godly life are sevenfold and Peter list them as being goodness, knowledge, self-control perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). We are to add these qualities to our faith. A Christ-follower develops one quality while exercising another quality by providing more than is barely demanded in the process of spiritually growing through living out a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not enough Christ-follower to “let go and let God,” but it is essential to put forth the effort to work in concert with your heavenly Father in the development of these qualities.
We will examine the other qualities in upcoming issues of Worthy Words. But for now, fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)
The first quality listed by Peter is “virtue” (NKJV) or some translations use the word goodness (NIV), or excellence more specifically (NLT) “moral excellence.” When you were in school and submitted a mid-term paper for a grade and it was returned marked not only “A+” but in red ink the word “Excellent” was inscribed next to it, the instructor’s additional note meant that the paper you submitted fulfilled its intended purpose most excellently. As a Christ-follower you are supposed to glorify God because you have God’s nature within you. Therefore, when you provide more and more goodness to your faith you are showing “excellence” because you are fulfilling your purpose in life. Moral excellence lived out in your life is not “polishing-up” your human qualities, even though they may be somewhat shiny, but rather producing qualities of a divine nature that makes you more like Jesus Christ. Use your faith every day and often it’s what helps develop your excellent goodness.