Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Thought

“[In 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.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”  2 Peter 1:5-9

For Peter it was a matter of what we work intentionally to gather, just as Jesus had taught about what we gather and seek to accumulate; that which will last or that which will rust, rot, or be taken from us.  Faith is a divine gift, entrusted only to those who will not misuse or abuse this gift of grace.  And if we are led to believe faith is given ONLY for the sake of our immortal souls and does not need to be worked and shared, it is not faith: it is “fire insurance”.

There is too much “feel good” religion out there that seeks to convince many that Jesus is little more than a magic spell to be conjured only when we find ourselves challenged.  Then when the Lord does not magically make our problems disappear (as we question the usefulness of suffering), we question what we believe.  Peter seeks to make clear that faith is a journey, a path, a constant series of challenges and choices we must make in order to take that which is entrusted to our care and develop it so that it may be made stronger.  This is the abiding faith that strengthened the apostles when they faced their own deaths at the hands of unbelievers.

Hold fast to what you know to be true, but let us not make the mistake of believing we can set it safely up on a shelf to be taken down only when we need it.  Otherwise like every other book and knick knack on that shelf, it will only get covered with dust; for “whoever has, to him more will be given and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (Matthew 13:12).


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