For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control (2 Peter 1:5-6 NIV).
Peter’s emphasis is on our effort to actively pursue these in the power of the Holy Spirit: Make every effort to add these things to your faith. Go after them. Make them your own. God has given you power, now stretch yourself out in the pursuit of these things.
(Moral excellence): If you want to be a fruitful Christian, you need to grow in goodness. The sheer moral excellence of Jesus’ life compels us, and a reflection of that goodness in our lives will be compelling to others. Peter says, “The Spirit lives in you” (1:4), so make every effort to grow in goodness. How can you become more active in doing good to others?
(Practical wisdom): If you want to be a fruitful Christian, you need to grow in wisdom. This happens as the Word of God is learned, believed, applied, and obeyed. David said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105). You will find direction, wisdom, and stability as you meditate on God’s Word. Are you taking full advantage of the opportunities available to you for learning God’s Word?
(Controlling your passions instead of your passions controlling you): Peter, the most impulsive man in the New Testament, and then a trusted apostle, wrote this. That’s growth! If that can happen for him, it can happen for you. Where do you need to exercise more self-control? In your eating and drinking? In what you watch? In how much or how little you sleep? In what you spend? In your temper or your tongue?
Which virtue(s) do you need to more actively pursue?