“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge.”
giving all diligence
The word “giving” in the phrase “giving all diligence” translates a double compound word: 1) alongside 2) into 3) to bring. This term is a word of powerful application. God wants us to bring something alongside so that it enters our lives. We must be eager to bring the seven virtues that follow alongside and into our experience. We ought to give all our energies to bringing these points of character into our lives. If we do, we will escape the corruption in the world (2 Pe 1:3). We are to be diligent about it.
“Diligence” conveys intense effort. “Diligence” means haste, speed, eagerness, or earnestness. A diligent person makes every effort to do what God asks. This term 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 in living out their Christianity.
God anticipates that we make an all-out effort to apply truth to experience. He wants us to expend great motivation and endeavor to live for Him.
Do you leave no stone unturned to make godly 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 building holy character, people will see our life as weak and ineffective. 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 the priority of 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 to work under the company’s President’s experience and influence, 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, for he must do certain things to give his crops an environment for growth. The Christian should 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 the first flush of enthusiasm and spiritual zeal. They can hardly wait to share their faith with their friends, husbands, or wives. Every time the church opens its doors, they are there. Somewhere along the line, their fire diminishes. Some puncture-proof saint gets to them. They call out the bucket brigade and throw water on these new Christians because of their burning enthusiasm.
The new Christian’s zeal and dynamic reveal the older believers’ deadness, apathy, and lethargy. The latter do not want their state of affairs exposed for what it is. They say, “What a minute, slow down, you can’t….” The vibrance of new Christians tends to wake sleeping saints. Fruitless believers 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 spiritual lethargy first.
People who design airplanes proved “conclusively” that bumblebees cannot fly. They say, “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, they cannot do it. They go out and win ten people to Christ the first week they become Christians. They mistake their way into winning some people to Christ! They are not that concerned about making mistakes.