2 Peter 1:5-7 — “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.”
So how are we expected to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, and all of these things to our faith? Do we just go to church, read our Bibles and one day — boom! — we have godliness and all the rest? I think not, though it would be easier than how it actually happens! We accumulate these character traits by learning them.
Learning requires us to grow. Different things require different skills depending on what is actually being learned — head knowledge, motor memory skills, problem solving, physical movements, and so on. I’m still in the process of learning Spanish (thank you Duolingo) where there’s a lot of thinking and processing in my mind. I find myself frustrated at times when I miss small stuff like using a masculine adjective instead of a feminine one, or forgetting those little two-letter words. Yet, in the midst of learning Spanish, I’m also learning perseverance. I’m learning to be patient with myself, not condemning or judging, but allowing for my mistakes and failures. Then I keep trying.
Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear and will increase in learning;” to which I advocate by listening to podcasts. For me, I particularly like learning more about health and fitness because I love to work out, and let me tell you, there are tons of podcasts about whatever health or fitness subject you’re interested in. Doing this helps me with self-control and viewing my body as God’s temple.
2 Tim. 2:15 tells us that we should study and show God that we understand His truth; and in
understanding His truth it leads us to even more truth. Many of the historically prominent universities like Harvard, Princeton, or Yale were originally based on Bible study. Education was based first on God’s principles and scripture.
Education adds to growth — both in the natural and the spiritual. Spiritual growth happens as we continue to grow in the natural, as we learn.
The point of learning isn’t always to “win” or “gain” something, though that usually occurs — it’sabout personal growth. As I keep myself in the middle of a learning curve with all its struggles and challenges, I find that I have more grace, mercy, and forgiveness towards others as I learn to have it towards myself.
So keep learning. Learn to dance, paint, take up a sport, gardening, cooking, a foreign language, play an instrument, take photographs — something! And as we continue to add to our faith, the end result will always be love.