At some level, we all want to be effective in life. We want our lives to count for something. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was Stephen Covey's answer to this desire. The book took the business community by storm in 1990 and became an"international best seller". People hunger to be effective.
"Our character", writes Covey, "is a composite of our habits ...... and habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character and produce our effectiveness ... or ineffectiveness."
In 2 Peter we have God's version of how to be effective. They are, if you will, the 7 Habits of Effective Living:
1. Use the Moral Compass
2. Cultivate Knowledge
3. Apply Self-Control
4. Stay Under the Load
5. Respect God Well
6. Practice Kindness
7. Live Love
Read: 2 Peter 1:3-9
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
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, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, 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. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Ok, so you get saved …. then what? How do you grow up in that? How do you get to know God better? How can you be an effective Christ follower?
The Bible says we need to grow. We need to develop habits. If the 7 qualities listed here are ours and are increasing we will always be fruitful and effective in Christ (v.8).
Peter called on these believers to add to their faith goodness. In other words, they were to stop their worldly behavior (sexual immorality, stealing, lying, etc.). While growing in goodness they were to add knowledge ... knowledge of God and his holiness, knowledge of grace, knowledge of the Son of God.
Knowledge required a response, as it always does! The proper response was to obey Him which required self-control and perseverance. Many can make a good show for a time but to have a real impact, to really see God on the journey, to live effectively, we must persevere. We must stay under the load. Peter knew that!
As they grew in perseverance they began to know godliness. A deep Godlikeness began to grow within them expressing itself in brotherly kindness toward other believers and in sacrificial love for the world.
So, the process began with morals 101 and ended with a changed world through love. If we could love the world like Jesus did we'd be effective indeed.
Peter invites us to this journey. We are invited to the 7 Habits of Effective Living.
What does your “love” look like? If God is love, if the ultimate goal of the believer is to love like Jesus, if the greatest of all virtues is love ….. how’s your love? If your love is not all it should be then you might have short-circuited somewhere in the list of 7 Habits.
As you review the 7 Habits of Effective Living can you identify a stage that you might be ”stuck” on today? Please identify where you might be. It will help your grow if you know.
Tomorrow we will start with goodness and consider the importance of Using the Moral Compass.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.