2 Peter 1:5-8
“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in you faith supply moral excellence, and in you moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Diligence, the beginning of every other quality listed in the verse above, is one of the most difficult qualities to achieve. Why? Because diligence, by definition, is a daily consistency, a daily routine, that is followed without fail. It is rather apt that Peter would put diligence first. Without diligence, there would be no consistency in the other qualities that are to be developed!
Real quick story… One day, when I was a boy, I asked my parents for a puppy. At first they said no and crushed my little heart, but after much begging and pleading, day after day after day, they finally decided to push me in that direction. They gave me a test. I was given an egg to take care of for a month. I had to feed it, give it water, and play with it for at least ten minutes a day. Easy, right? Well, no… not at all. My young self quickly forgot about it and my mom ended up “taking care of it” for me. Needless to say, after the month ended, I did not get the dog.
This story explains two things that come so naturally to humans. We desire to see the outcome so much that we beg and plead God to get us there as swiftly as possible. We do this daily, constantly asking God if He would but give us what we desire (patience, kindness, joy, you get the picture), but when He gives us opportunities to grow these qualities in our lives, we are anything but diligent with it. Usually, I end up asking Him why He gave me a trial instead of what I wanted! If only we were as dedicated to doing as we are to asking! This is one of the reasons I believe Peter starts this section with diligence. We must be diligent in everything, for with diligence comes even greater things.