Those are four-letter words to me. You see I am an Arranger and Achiever and Maximizer according to Gallop Strengths Training. I strive to make every day effective and productive. I am a type-A personality. You know what they mean by A, right? Awesome!!!! I like to accomplish goals and tasks. These days my to do list can be rather long. I do remember a season when I created a one item to do list each day. When my kids were little, productivity was difficult. However, my personality is one that needs to finish something daily. If I could do one thing, even if it consisted of completing one load of laundry, it gave me satisfaction.
Knowing this about me, you can imagine my surprise when I read the following scripture in Chuck Swindoll’s weekly devotional.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 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.
I love many things in this passage. First off, it says if we “possess these qualities in increasing measure.” I don’t have to have them all or have them all right now. I should be growing in these qualities. As I increase in my goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love, I will be effective and productive. What will I be effective and productive in? My knowledge of Jesus.
I strive to spend time daily in God’s word. I strive to pray daily. I strive to apply what I learn in my readings, sermon listening and other sources of knowledge. These are all ways I know Jesus better. Yet if I am not growing in my faith in goodness, knowledge, …, these efforts are futile. My actions and interaction with others needs to reflect what I’m learning. Follow me here: If I learn about Jesus but don’t live it, my knowledge is ineffective and unproductive. If I learn about Jesus and my faith grows and shows in my daily life, my knowledge is effective and productive.
That’s so cool. I have a way to measure if I am truly growing in my knowledge of God. If I’m growing in the qualities listed above, so is my faith and knowledge of Jesus. For one who likes to be productive, this spoke to me. For you A-type personalities out there, rejoice. This verse supports our drive to excel. For you non-A-type personalities, you can be equally effective and productive, if you are growing with Jesus. However, we were created, to crave accomplishing tasks or to accomplish tasks out of necessity, we both grow in faith.
I hope you followed my logic in this one. If not, my take away is this, know Jesus.