A Simple Mind
2 Peter 1:5-10 Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love… for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
I find passages like this frustrating. It is as if Peter, having already given a tremendous amount of instruction, has to pile on 10 more things that are also of utmost importance. I am to make every effort to master these values so that I will never fall. I have a simple mind. I can think of maybe two things at a time. Maybe. So when I read the bible, sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of my defect and all of the things that God wants me to work on. I am tempted to throw my hands up in futility.
Thankfully, God does not ask me to follow 17 steps a day. He does not insist on working on 10 defects at a time. To my simple mind, He gives one job daily. I am to turn from self and follow Christ (maybe that is two jobs). I find that when my eyes are off of self and on God, most of my defects fall into place and I am able to live in virtue, self-control, and love. The fact that my defects are still so often exposed reveals that I still do not do my one job perfectly.
It seems to me that God has a distinct plan for all of us. When I come to God, He works on my unique defects individually. He works on me in different ways and at different times than He works on you. He may find some defects in me more pressing right now and He is often working on things that I do not realize. When my eyes are on God, He always brings me the lessons I need today to work on that which He desires.
God’s plan may not be my plan. I may think that I need to work on my self-control with food so that I can be slimmer. God may insist that I first work on my over-developed concern about self-image before He gets to my appetite. He is the master planner and I would do well to follow his plan. In his time, He will work his way through Peter’s list of values if I just keep my eyes on him and off of me.
My one job daily is to do whatever it takes to keep my eyes off of self and on God. I do not have to worry about 17 steps to freedom. My simple mind cannot grasp that. So, today, I will turn from self and follow Christ.