Today’s Readings: Psalm 126; Isaiah 19:18-25; 2 Peter 1:2-15
Back in 1995, I started working in the local health department doing HIV prevention. I worked in an innovative peer education program that was designed to do three things: (1) identify community opinion leaders; (2) give those community opinion leaders information about how to eliminate and/or reduce incidents of risky behavior; and (3) send those community opinion leaders out into their community to engage in conversations with their peers.
I served as an educator in the program for two years. During this time, I learned an important lesson about human beings. Increased knowledge – at least the way it is traditionally defined – does not always lead to changed behavior.
Because of that experience, I have taken a different approach about how I view education. I’m less worried about the degrees a person possesses or the number of books that a person has read, and more concerned about how a person leads his or her life. That’s how I gauge how learned a person is.
The author of today’s passage from 2 Peter plays around with this notion when he talks about the qualities to which a person of faith should aspire. After talking about a laundry list of qualities to which a person of faith should aspire, the author concluded: “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8 from the New International Version). The notion here is that if you possess those qualities – qualities such as goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love – they will make your faith two things: effective and productive.
So where are you at with all this? Do you prefer to think about faith simply in the abstract; or are you comfortable with the notion that your faith should take concrete form as well? Til next time…