Have you ever whittled, shaping a piece of wood cut-by-cut, flick-by-flick, putting something into life that was only in your mind?
While God does not use a knife to whittle on us, through others and life’s trials God does shape us. Sometimes it is to bring something new and good out of us that we didn’t know we had. Other times God removes things and we don’t like it. It doesn’t happen all at once. Part of who we are is our flaws, personality traits, and our unredeemed nature. As we work with God, these are changed and transformed into something new.
Peter reminds us that God’s divine power (i.e., not our efforts) gives us everything we need. We have to be willing sharing that power. It sounds strange. Share God’s power. However, if we look at human nature, humanity often will avoid that as it seeks its own way through its own power. Peter gives us the blueprint of adding to our faith. With this adding, there is a bit-by-bit transformation. There is an end goal, and it is to be fruitful. When we speak about our transformation it is so that we are able to add to God’s kingdom.
Sometimes (okay, maybe every day), we have to do a self-check on what we’ve done and not done. Sometimes we can not love others as ourselves. Sometimes we don’t love God first. It is all part of our human condition. As we are “added to” (per Peter) every day, we hope that we will be improved. However, we all know that there will be missteps, mistakes, and sins. While God gives us the power to avoid sinning, sometimes we lack the wisdom and maturity to not misstep or make mistakes. We do not have to be down on ourselves or be too harsh on ourselves. John tells us to have a life of confession. We need to confess our sins. Does it fix everything? No. It does, however, remind us where the true orientation of our heart needs to be.
1) Why do you think Peter uses “adding to” when he talks about the path of holiness he is laying out?
2) What does it mean to you that you share God’s power?
3) How does confession help to bring us to the Very Good Life?