Skip to main content

Not always virtuous

If you have ever wondered about how to have an effective relationship with anyone, you know you have to get to know the individual a bit before you can truly 'figure out' what it is you each 'bring' into the relationship and what it is you 'offer' to each other. For example, if I think about my BFF, I know she brings an ability to tell it like it is - she doesn't pull her punches and I appreciate this about her. When I need to hear truth - she hits me with it. When I need her to hold me accountable - she reminds me of my commitment. When I find myself getting a little too 'bent' in one direction - she helps me laugh and put that stuff aside for a while so I can get refocused. These are just a few of the myriad of ways she 'brings' and 'offers' something into the relationship. When it comes to our relationship with God, what do you suppose we 'bring' and 'offer' within it? You might just be surprised to find that we 'bring' very little in comparison to what God 'brings' and we 'offer' some things that are pretty flawed compared to what he 'offers'!

His divine power has given us everything we need to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One who called us by His glory and virtue. Through these things, we have received God’s great and valuable promises, so we might escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in the divine nature. To achieve this, you will need to add virtue to your faith, and then knowledge to your virtue; to knowledge, add discipline; to discipline, add endurance; to endurance, add godliness; to godliness, add affection for others as sisters and brothers; and to affection, at last, add love. For if you possess these traits and multiply them, then you will never be ineffective or unproductive in your relationship with our Lord Jesus the Anointed.... (2 Peter 1:3-8)

God has 'given' us EVERYTHING we need. Not just some of the things he wants to 'part with' or 'offer up' to us, but everything. We RECEIVE not only the things that restore us to right relationship with him, but everything we need to remain within that right relationship. I may not always get this in my life, thinking there must be something I am missing whenever I repeatedly fail at something, but the matter is settled - I have everything I need to overcome that failure. I don't know about you, but I don't always exhibit the virtue in my life that bespeaks what I have been given in Christ. Virtue is just the ability and consistency to act or do what is right and good. Do I always do 'good'? No, certainly not. In fact, I blunder through this life probably about as well as you do! Yet, to today's right choices, I will add tomorrow's right ones, and then the next day's. In time, the 'match' between the virtue God brings within the relationship and the virtue I begin to exhibit will become more consistent.

Making right choices leads us to an understanding of our why it is we made those wrong choices in the first place. That is where knowledge comes into play. We find we recognize we are about to choose a wrong action or response quicker because we have learned to listen to God's voice a little quicker or with a greater intensity. In turn, we find we live more 'disciplined' lives - control, order, right conduct (that which is becoming of a child of the Most High God). We learn very quickly that frequently exhibited right choices, made for the right reasons, in a manner that is out of heartfelt love and appreciation for the one we are IN relationship with begin to introduce an 'endurance' into that relationship that 'rides out' and 'overcomes' the occasional wrong choices. It doesn't take much to develop an 'endurance' in relationship when we are both committed to it as much as God is committed to us! His 'endurance' becomes ours and his endurance is encompassed in repeated infusions of his grace. In turn, we move more consistently into places of unmeasured and limitless enjoyment of each other.

We don't always 'relate' well in our earthly relationships - I am a living example of not always being very 'virtuous' in my interactions. If we lean into Jesus and get this heavenly relationship with him right first and foremost, we have a much better chance of developing strong and vital earthly relationships that are consistently virtuous! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,