~My Take on the Verse~
2 Peter 1:3-8 says that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness through His promises. As we participate in His divine nature (His character) and appropriate His character into our spirits, these characteristics will enhance our productivity and effectiveness.
WOW! Now that is an answer to our life management issues!
What are those characteristics of Christ that will help us to manage our life more effectively? Peter lists seven of these characteristics. Let’s take a look at three of them.
Excellence--This Greek word means virtue or the fulfillment of a thing. When we are showing excellence, we are fulfilling our purpose in life. I believe that the Lord created each individual with a divine calling or purpose. When we find that purpose and operate in it, whether it is being a rancher, banker, pilot, mother, nurse, secretary, we are operating in excellence. When a company knows its core purpose and focuses on that purpose and doesn’t get distracted by too many initiatives, it is operating in its purpose or vision. It is expressing excellence.
When I discovered my purpose, which is bringing order to my clients’ offices, homes and lives, my life immediately became more efficient and effective, thus excellent.
Self-control-– This is another word for organized. There is proverb in the Bible that says, “He that has no rule (self-control) over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). What does that have to do with managing our lives? In the Old Testament days of Israel and also during the eras of monarchies that reigned in England and Europe, many cities had walls around them to protect them from thieves, marauders and enemy armies. If those walls were broken down in any place, these enemies had access to the city, thus the people were insecure and vulnerable. If our spirits are unprotected, that is if they lack self-control, we become vulnerable to emotions and people and that will directly affect how we manage our time and life.
Let me give you an example: Let’s say that you pass by two people at the water fountain, and they discontinue talking until you pass. You might think that they are talking about you. If you are insecure in whom you are, you will falter and fume over what they might be saying, or worry and wonder why they are saying it. Precious time is wasted in worry and wondering about what they might be saying. This affects your time negatively. Worrying drains your energy and saps your time!
Being secure in whom you are means that you have proper self-control and can manage your emotions; you will not falter and fume, worry and wonder. You will acknowledge that they might be talking about you, and you will simply move on with your responsibilities.
Self-control allows you to walk in proper boundaries and helps you to contain your emotions, not allowing them to rule you but instead you ruling your emotions. This ultimately saves you time and reduces your stress.
Perseverance-– This trait is the ability to endure when circumstances are difficult. If our boss or co-worker is causing a problem in our life, no amount of time management solutions will answer our dilemma. We will need Christ’s character trait of perseverance to handle our problem. Perseverance is accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it. It means to endure. Sometimes with our boss, co-workers or even our spouses, we just have to endure the circumstances in order for them to work out in the end.
Peter goes on to give three evidences as to the results of these spiritual qualities. These evidences are productivity, vision and confidence.
In conclusion, as we develop in our spirits the character of Christ (excellence, self-control and perseverance) we will walk in productivity, vision and confidence. Walking in those values causes us to manage our life more effectively and efficiently.
When facing everyday problems, don’t focus on just solving the problem. Focus on what God wants to teach you. What are the precious promises that Peter is talking about? What nugget from God’s nature does He want you to increase in? When you answer those questions, the next time you are faced with another problem, you can stand up under it and endure until it is solved.
So all this points to the truth that behind every problem there is a provision! Every problem will reveal what characteristic of Christ that you need in order to properly relate to and handle your life. Once you embrace and integrate that characteristic into your being, your life will become more stable and orderly, more efficient and effective.