“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge.”
giving all diligence
The phrase “giving” in the phrase “giving all diligence” translates a double compound word: 1) alongside 2) into 3) to bring. God wants us to bring something alongside so that it enters our lives. This is a word of powerful application. We must be eager to bring alongside and into our lives the seven virtues that follow. We need to give all our energies to bring these points of character into our lives. If we do, we will escape the corruption in the world (v.3). We are to be diligent about it.
“Diligence” conveys intense effort. “Diligence” means haste, speed, eagerness, earnestness. A diligent person makes every effort to do what God asks. This is a word of zeal. A person of diligence will give serious attention to what he is doing and exert great energy to get it done. The idea is to be eager to do something with the implication of readiness to expend energy and effort.
Ro 12:11, “Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”
Ga 2:10, “They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.”
Eph 4:3, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
God expects Christians to be dead earnest with their Christianity.
God expects us to make an all-out effort to apply truth to experience. He wants us to expend great motivation and effort to live for Him.
Do you leave no stone unturned to make character the passion of your life? Christians cannot look upon Christianity as a hobby. If we devote the fringe area of our spare time to character, our character will be seen for what it is – weak. The Christian life is far more than a hobby, like golf. It is something to which we should devote our lives. Note how Paul makes Christianity his life,
Php 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
As a person low on the totem pole of an organization is brought up to work under the experience and influence of the President of the company. Hence, the Christian is to work under the influence of God’s disposition. The Christian should then live his life with earnestness.
Earnestness requires exertion. We cannot enjoy our possessions unless we use them. The divine disposition is not an automatic machine that will produce Christian character despite engagement with it. A farmer does not directly grow his crop. He must do certain things to give his crops an environment for growth. The Christian must do certain things to give his life an environment for growth. He must give all diligence to bring God’s promises alongside his life so he can grow. God has a role, and the Christian has a role. Only the Lord can ultimately give the increase.
New Christians usually show a first flush of enthusiasm and spiritual zeal. They can hardly wait to share their faith with their husbands or wives. Every time the church opens its doors, they are there. Somewhere along the line, their fire extinguishes. Some puncture-proof saint gets to them. They call out the bucket brigade and throw water on these new Christians because of their enthusiasm.
The zeal and dynamic of the new Christian reveal their apathy, lethargy, and dead spiritual lives. They do not want their state of affairs revealed for what it is. They say, “What a minute, slow down, you can’t ….” New Christians waken sleeping saints. They rub their eyes, yawn, and say, “You lead someone to Christ? Quiet, you are disturbing my sleep. Don’t you see that I am worshipping?”
Where is the zeal when first you came to Christ? The subsequent virtues will do us no good if we do not deal with this first.
People who design airplanes proved “conclusively” that bumblebees cannot fly. “The fuselage is too large for its wingspread.” The bumblebee does not know that, so he goes ahead and flies. When a person first becomes a Christian, he does not know that he cannot do this or that. He goes ahead and does it. They do not find this out until later when Christians inform them that they cannot do it. They go out and win ten people to Christ the first week they know Christ. They are not that concerned about making mistakes. They mistake their way into winning some people to Christ!