I’m intrigued this week by these words of Peter. But I don’t think I’m going to have the time to include my thoughts in this Sunday’s sermon. I might not be able to make it fit. So I’m giving them to you now with grace and peace.
“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, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, 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.” ~1 Peter 1:5-8
The older ones among us, the ones who’ve been disciples of Jesus the longest, we’re the ones who should be giving more and serving more. Those of us who were baptized 20, 30, 40, or 50 or more years ago are the ones who should be sacrificing and volunteering more and dying more for others. The older we are, the longer we’ve been on the journey, the more like Christ we should be.
It’s the oldest among us who display more self-control. Our older brothers and sisters show more kindness and love. The ones who’ve been disciples longer are the ones who are “more good.” More persevering. More like our God than those who are younger.
More like God?
Yeah, Peter says, “in increasing measure.”
That means it’s the older among us who are more forgiving, more patient, more gracious and compassionate, more sacrificing and giving, more tolerant of the shortcomings of others. Adding those Christ-like qualities in increasing quantities every day keeps us from getting stale. It prevents us from getting into a rut and not being any good to God’s Kingdom.
“I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” ~1 Peter 1:12
We older Christians can be prone to crankiness and sour attitudes. We can sometimes be bossy and demanding and impatient. We can occasionally come across to others as unkind or unloving.
It’s just that we have much less of an excuse than the younger ones.