One of my posts was about staying the course and letting go of things that you don’t need to be burdened with all the time, or even in a moment.
After you let go, sometimes you need to take on more…
No, I am not talking about taking on more odd jobs for extra income.
Or taking on an extra hobby and I am certainly not talking about taking on extra weight (unless you are one of those skinny folk)
I am talking about adding characteristics onto virtues.
2 Peter 1:5-8
5 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.
If you have Faith– that is great! Faith compels you forward. Faith helps you hold on when you are weary. But Faith alone is not enough to be a leader.
You must also have goodness. The definition of goodness is, well- to be good! You know, all those things you mean when you tell your kids to be good.
After that, you need to have knowledge. Knowledge is not the same as wisdom, or even understanding. Knowledge means to learn. Learn about your ministry. Grow in your knowledge of scriptures.
Never stop learning, but as you learn you must have self-control. I know first hand that knowledge is power. But that power un-controlled can cause you to cross lines that you should not. I am going through a process of realizing that I cannot change everything in the ministry I am in, partially because I am not the overseer but also because even though I see things as they should be, God has not revealed those things to others and it is not my place to bring them to the light. That knowledge can cause frustration if I do not have the self-control to bite my tongue when I see things that are wrong but not my place to change.
Ministry is people. People grow at different rates and sometimes, you will grow quicker than your leaders. But with faith, goodness, knowledge and self-control you will be ok with that. You will need to have perseverance to stick it out when you are in a place of change, or stagnation. Sometimes we see things as stagnant because they are not growing how we want them to, or we try to push things into changing. I have been guilty of that. And then I get frustrated and feel like I am the only one doing anything, or the only one that cares. That will lead to burnout if you are not careful- or even worse, bitterness!
As you press on, you will grow in godliness. The fruits of the spirit will be evident in your life and you will walk closer to Christ. You will also lead people to walk with you closer to him. You will hear his voice louder than before and you will not behave irrationally or arrogantly in the face of change. The definition of godliness is being a godly person, which really boils down to have a reverence for God and the things of God. You are not of the world, so you will not act like it. Every choice you make will go through consideration and prayer before hand because you will want God to be the center of it.
And after all these are evident in your life- then it is easier to deal with and interact with people with mutual respect, brotherly and sisterly affection and also love. You are not going to show people how much Jesus loves them when you are too frustrated with people and ministry to love them, or even show respect.
This is an area of my life that I am currently going through changes in. I have gotten caught up in frustrations of ministry and through it, forgotten to hold onto these virtues. And as Paul said, if I have great talents but do not have love I am just making noise.
And as a worshipper, I cannot afford to offer noise to God.