Faith is knowing Jesus can do the impossible like making someone who always makes bad decisions make good ones.
Virtue is excellence and valor.
Holy, pure, good and righteous come to mind.
2Pet 1:5-9 (KJ2000) ” 5 And for this reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge self control; and to self control patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”
How do I add virtue to faith?
There are virtues such as faith, hope, and love, prudence, justice, temperance, and courage.
Adding faith to faith might mean growing in faith by having Jesus increase my faith.
I sense some part of virtue means value. I judge something is good because I value it. How much am I valuing Jesus and what He has done is doing and will do?
I have faith to know He will take care of me no matter what. I believe He will do the impossible to bring about His kingdom.
I think an answer to the question of adding virtue to faith is asking if I am valuing His kingdom. Am I becoming more aware of the goodness of His kingdom? I love when God makes a lowly thing into a blessed and sacred thing. Or when He takes a humble person and uses them for great things.
Yesterday I saw a beetle stuck on its back. I saw it flailing its arms and legs to try to turn over. It kept putting all its legs toward the one side and didn’t get close to turning over. I told the beetle to open its wings which would have easily gotten it off its back. I even told it several times rather loudly. The beetle was stuck on its back when I left.
Later, the thought occurred to me. How stuck am I and trying the wrong things to get off my back. Then God tells me, ‘open the wings that I give you, that I empower, that I will show you how to operate.’
Wings mean spiritual things. Not spooky unknowable things but simple things which look like seeing the sun in the morning valuing the kingdom of Jesus and seeing the good in an ugly person. I mistakenly think they are ugly. God knows better.
This leads to the next transition. Add to virtue knowledge.
I must conform my thinking to His thinking. Not that I can come close to understanding God, but I can make small changes in my thinking that lead toward Him. I need Jesus to guide me into His Kingdom thinking. This includes loving people because I see more of how He sees them.
I think I know all about knowledge because I have access to many resources through the internet. But what is Jesus’ Kingdom knowledge? I think knowing Him is more the kind of knowledge that is important in His kingdom. I can not catalog the proper response to every situation that will ever occur in my life. I can not make my life void of challenges. If I have developed a relationship with Jesus, I can turn to Him for help when different things happen throughout the day. This means adding knowledge is knowing Him intimately rather than knowing things about Him.
Add self control.
Self control seems obvious but what is Jesus’ kingdom self control?
Perhaps not jumping the gun. This means chasing after every thought or thing that I see. I want to run. His love is exciting. I often think, alright, I understand now so I am ready to do it on my own. One of the fun parts of learning to ride a bike was riding away from my dad who just let go.
‘Jesus, let it not be so. Help me wander no more but always remain in Your tender care.’
No one likes waiting. If I could describe the grace that is available in waiting, I would say that a meeting often happens between me and God when I am still. It requires my decision to wait for Him. It is not hard to see how patience fits with self control. And it is not hard to feel the dislike bubbling up inside me. But Jesus again is so much more powerful and bigger than my stupid little leg flailing.
This sounds like a recipe saying ‘add a pinch of salt.’
It is so much more. Jesus’ kingdom is additive. It just has more and more and more than all I can ever imagine.
To add godliness to patience requires humility.
Godliness refocuses my attention on Him. It is not my strength or intelligence or because I have done anything that causes me to act righteously. My righteousness is rags.
I need to focus on His timing. I can say ‘I love you’ a thousand times to someone and all the times will be wrong. They won’t get it and I will be frustrated. I can say. ‘I like you’ once in God’s timing and it will be perfect. The person accepts His love and His kingdom is multiplied.
Add brotherly kindness.
I wonder why brotherly kindness is different from love.
Perhaps brotherly kindness is not so much liking to do it. I know I do not want to do the right things and at these moments God is strongest. It is not my reaction that counts in fact the more I express my unwillingness to do a kind thing the more it affects people when I do it anyway.
I am embarrassed by my unwillingness and I know Jesus is working on rooting this out. But the miraculous thing is when I am honest other people are moved.
I love love. But then I hate it too when I am let down by it. I have come so far in being led into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Why does the final word carry such difficulty?
Love is the ultimate sacrifice. I know it’s going to hurt. I know it will let me down. And I choose to do it anyway. Mostly it is the love of Jesus flowing through. It is being grateful for the love He gives me every moment of every day if I am willing to accept it.
But it is a sacrifice meaning it is hard and I am not willing to do it.
‘Father give me your grace. It is true. I am unwilling and unable to love like you love. Train my heart to want only You. Plant the seeds of Your understanding in my mind. Thank You and praise You for Your love. I don’t know even the infinitesimal part of it. But what I know I am utterly amazed by. Thank you Jesus for this time together. You are the answer. You are everything. You are always good and You are all I need. I love you.’