Today’s Readings: Psalm 122; Amos 2:6-16; Matthew 21:1-11; 2 Peter 1:1-11
In today’s passage from 2 Peter, there is a wonderful listing of qualities to which we are called as people of faith. I particularly love the wording of these qualities as given in the Message. The passage from 2 Peter 1:5-6 reads: “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love..” (The Message)
As I looked at this list of qualities, I spent some time discerning where my greatest strengths and weaknesses lie. I would say the quality that represents my greatest strength would be my warm friendliness. As an extrovert, I have found that I not only LOVE people – I also draw the most energy by being around them. That makes it incredibly easy for me to exude the quality of warm friendliness.
My greatest weakness? Well for years I would have said that I have little – if any – capacity to embody passionate patience. Over the years, however, I have grown in my ability to be patient and accept life on life’s terms. If I were honest, however, I wouldn’t exactly call my patience “passionate”. It would better be described as emerging.
The quality on the list that I least exude these days would be alert discipline. Most of the discipline I exhibit these days is related to my own interests. This means I have enough discipline to watch what I eat (unless sugar or salt is involved), get regular exercise, and get enough sleep. I have a LONG way to go before I could consider myself alertly disciplined when it comes to my spiritual life. Sadly, that area of my life is much more haphazard than I would care to admit.
Now that I’ve been honest and opened up with you in terms of my self-assessment, I would invite you to do the same. Look at the list of those qualities listed and see where your greatest strengths and weakness lie. That exploration could spark some important work within you in these remaining days of this season of Advent. Til next time…