For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 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. 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
Recently, I officiated a memorial service for Lois, a believer who lived her days following hard after Christ. One word that described her entire life was "service." Not long before this dear saint's passing, her daughter-in-law took several of Lois' great-grandchildren to visit her in a care facility. They became worried when she was not in her room and began searching for her. Finally, they found Lois at the end of a hall sitting in her wheelchair, reading to a person who was unable to see.
In today's passage, the apostle listed several qualities the believer needs to possess. The qualities of goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love should be added to our faith. Then he reminds us that these qualities need to be used and developed so that we will be effective and productive believers. When we do not develop these qualities, Peter says we are "nearsighted and blind" and we live as if we have forgotten that God has "cleansed [us] from [our] past sins."
I was so encouraged to hear Lois' family describe her life. She was effective and productive. She encountered many challenges in life, and used them to become stronger. She didn't use the aging process as an excuse. She used what she had to demonstrate love and kindness to others. She didn't waste a day of her 85 years. May Lois serve as an example for us all.
Father, until You call us home, may we use every day to develop the qualities that make us productive and effective servants. Help us not waste a minute of our days on this earth. In Jesus' name. Amen.