Make every effort to add to your faith goodness . . . knowledge . . . self-control . . . perseverance . . . godliness . . . mutual affection . . . love.
— 2 Peter 1:5-7
Have you ever stopped to think about what “goodness” actually is? It was probably one of the earliest concepts we learned. Something was good if we felt positively about it. And later, as we grew, we learned to add descriptions such as beautiful, healthy, pleasant, and more.
The kind of goodness that Peter describes here was prized in the Greek culture. It pointed to a kind of excellence that could overcome a great difficulty. For example, this would describe a Greek athlete who gained a victory despite an injury that would have kept most others from competing.
Christ challenges us to make our best efforts in striving with excellence to live like him. By his Spirit, he has given us the power—and even the victory. And in line with our being made in God’s image, I believe, we can find great satisfaction in our productive efforts to live as we are called. The level of goodness described in this passage is about doing our very best to live for Christ, and at the end of the day we can look back with satisfaction on the spiritual challenges we have faced and thank God for helping us.
Lord, help us to strive for goodness/excellence as we seek to live for you each day. Amen.