For the past few weeks we have been looking at some of the characteristics of mature Christians. We have discussed how a mature Christians stops looking at the sins of others and starts confessing and turning away from their own. A mature Christian is also able to control their tongues. They speak words that are encouraging and build others up and not evil as well as knowing when not to talk. Last week we discussed how mature Christians depend on God and stop depending on themselves. Today I want us to look at the idea of mature Christians making every effort to build on their faith.
In the last several months there has been a passage of scripture that God has laid on my heart. It is 2 Peter 1:5-8 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, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, 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.
I love what Peter wrote in verse 5 when he says, make every effort to add to your faith. As Christians we are to do everything in our power to grow our faith into more. I love watching babies when they are learning to crawl. They try so hard! They give it all they have to try to get their legs and arms to work together to get them scooting and crawling on the floor. Often they get frustrated because it is so hard and yet they are so determined they keep going until they are able to do it. It isn’t too long after they get the hang crawling and they are working to figure out how to walk, again so focused and putting everything they can into it. Once they get the walking down then there speeding it up and moving on to running, then stairs and so on. They aren’t satisfied to just lay in the middle of the room and lift their heads up or roll over on their stomach and back. They want to be able to do more.
That is the same type of attitude and focus we should have as Christians about continuing to grow and mature in our Christian walk. Faith is the starting point! It is what brings us into a personal relationship with Christ. The problem is for many Christians faith is not just the starting point but also their ending point. Many don’t continue with everything they have to add to their faith. Peter lists seven things we can work to add to our faith. As mature Christians we know our work of growing to be like Christ will only be done when we are with Him for eternity.