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Tuesday, December 8

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…

1 comment:

betsy said...

I think I often need to practice transforming the abstract into the concrete. I am more able to do this in trusting environments. Somehow the fences and boundaries are quickly constructed when invitations sound more like ordrers. This is when breathing is very useful. B.N.