When I'm given a job assignment, I haven't always put forth my best effort. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, it's not my strength. For me, it has been a struggle to enjoy the task at hand because my eye is fixed on the finish line more than giving whatever the task may be my very best effort.
For me, it's all about getting the job done, and as quickly as possible.
In my life, I've made some blunders, messed up big time, and my hurried work has affected me and those around me. Not good!
In the book of 2 Peter, the author writes at the beginning and end of the book: "Make every effort." This book was written for the early church but also applies to us today.
In 2 Peter 1:5-8, the Apostle Peter gives us stepping stones to help us make every effort to build on a solid foundation. This verse also tells us what happens when we don't make our best effort.
...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 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.
Next time you question if you are making every effort in your life to be effective and productive members of the body of Christ, here's the checklist from 2 Peter for you to consider.
- Is it good what you are about to do? (goodness)
- Is God's word in agreement with what you're about to do? (knowledge)
- Is it within your power to show self-control in this matter? (self-control)
- Am I easily distracted by the concerns of this world and not focused on doing God's will? (perseverance)
- Will others see Christ in my actions? (godliness)
- Do my actions show I care for my brothers and sisters in Christ? (mutual affection)
- Are my actions an expression of love to others? (love)
If your answer is negative to even one of these questions, make every effort to reconsider your actions.
In this first week of 2021, my prayer is that all who read these words would make every effort to filter their actions through this verse.
When we do this, we'll become productive and effective representatives of Jesus.