Growing in Goodness

seaside 1My daughter just turned 9 years old recently and like most parents, I’ve questioned where the time has gone.  It’s amazing to watch your children grow, not just physically, but also their maturation process.  It’s expected that we would grow as we age and if we didn’t, it would be wise to assume something is wrong.  Wouldn’t it also make sense that we should notice an improvement in our spiritual growth as well?

Christian living is not about how good you are.  If we rely on our own goodness, we will only be focused on our personal works and will inevitably fail.  We can never be good enough to earn the favor of God.  In contrast, a Christian life well-lived is one where you are growing in goodness.  2 Peter 1:5-11 tells us, “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.”

This passage is very revealing about God’s expectation for our growth.  We, along with the help of the Holy Spirit, are to add to our Christian graces daily.  Will we ever reach perfection in this life?  No, but it’s the act of moving forward with a penitent heart, working as hard as we can to please God and thank him for his unmeasurable grace.  But we also have a warning in verse 9 of that passage.  If growth does not occur and we stay tied to the world and its temptations, we could forget that our past sins were forgiven and fall back into them again.

So keep growing in goodness and be reassured of your calling and salvation.

-Joe

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