Yes, all too often. Even on my busiest days and when I feel worn out, I still regularly feel unproductive and ineffective. Can you relate?
Recently, the Holy Spirit impressed on me that these feelings come from a misplaced focus. Instead of focusing my time and energy on my relationship with God, I let activity and should drive me. In other words, I’m not focusing on building my faith.
“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. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-11)
It’s not that I wasn’t spending time with God, but it was not the driving force in my life anymore. More specifically, I was not “making every effort.” No, I had gotten distracted by others lack of growth, by a world steeped in sin, and by my own clouded thinking.
Make Every Effort
While I was making an effort, it wasn’t complete like we are instructed to do in 2 Peter. For certain, these qualities were not increasing. So, it’s no wonder I was feeling ineffective and unproductive, and, though it’s difficult to admit, why I was becoming “nearsighted and blind.”
With this realization, I am now refocusing my efforts on the qualities God desires most. It began with a renewal of faith and continues now with an effort to increase in the things that will keep me from remaining ineffective and unproductive.
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect this side of heaven, but he does want us to be growing – he wants us to be adding to our faith. He gives us a focus for this growth, too.
- Faith + goodness + knowledge + self-control + perseverance + godliness + mutual affection + love = effective and productive in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we focus on adding these qualities to our faith, we will discover a productive and effective life far beyond what we can imagine. Not only that, but we also will NEVER STUMBLE and will receive a RICH WELCOME into heaven. In other words, we are rewarded now through a righteous life and will also be rewarded richly when we get to heaven.
If you’re not sure where to start with the command in 2 Peter to “make every effort,” let me encourage you to start by gaining a biblical understanding of what faith is and then studying each of the qualities we are to add to our faith. A keyword study of each of these qualities in addition to learning more about faith will “keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”