From the LYWB.com team: Hey blog readers! Did you know that this blog has a Spanish counterpart? It’s true! Joven Verdadera is LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com for Spanish-speaking young women. Think of them like our blog pen pals. We love their posts, so we’ve translated a series of them here for you. ¡Disfrútalo! (That’s Spanish for enjoy.)
Last week we started a series reading through 2 Peter. Today we’re going to continue to explore the qualities of a young woman who strives to live what she believes. Let’s read the Bible together.
Open your Bible and read 2 Peter 1:5–7. This passage asks us to add five virtues to our faith. The virtues don’t save us or make God love us more, but rather they describe how we will want to live because we are followers of Christ. Let’s unpack each of those virtues together.
If you’re determined to live as a virtuous young woman and you’re trying to live according to the knowledge you get from God’s Word, you’ll find yourself in a fight against your own desires. We live in a society that puts emotions and desires on the throne.
To grow in your walk with Christ, you need to silence those messages that scream:
- “Satisfy your own desires.”
- “Set free your emotions.”
- “Follow your instinct.”
At the same time, we must raise the volume of the Word of God that says:
- Be sober-minded (1 Peter 5:8).
- Prepare your minds for action according to the Word of God (1 Peter 1:13).
- Submit your emotions to the Lordship of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
You’ll need more than “willpower” to break bad eating habits or to break the addiction to a substance that controls your body or to control a sexual sin you feel bound to. You’ll need the power of the Holy Spirit that works inside you, because self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Be intentional by giving up the control of each bad habit to the Lord, surrender to His Lordship, and strive to say “no” because of the power of God that dwells in you.
Perseverance is the patience to endure what’s necessary to raise the name of Christ in our lives. It’s the ability to resist in the middle of the pressures and sin that surrounds us. It’s the persistence that does not give up because of the clear promises of God that nourish the soul.
I want to encourage you to strive to be faithful to God every single day and to be consistent in your determination to pursue virtue.
James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
This is the hope we need to patiently wait for!
A young woman who strives in godliness is characterized by her loyalty and reverence before God. She has her priorities clear and is marked by her love for God. She lives entirely to please her Savior, so there is no division in her conduct; she is a Christian twenty-four hours a day.
Godliness is not a resplendent halo or a golden ring floating above her head. We don’t need to over-spiritualize this concept. Piety is your performance as a daughter of God. it is your devotion and dedication to worship with your life and through your service to others.
This mandate, that we strive in godliness, includes the guarantee that we have everything we need to grow in it. (Remember 2 Peter 1:3!)
4. Brotherly Love
If you have been born again into the family of God, strive to love your new brothers and sisters in the faith. This type of brotherly affection isn’t passive, and it’s not limited to good intentions. First Peter 4:8 tells us, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
Notice that we aren’t given any exceptions. This includes the little sisters at church who you don’t get along with and the ladies who look at your clothes before looking at your face. This includes people who are very easy to love (and those you admire) and those who are not in your Top 10 list.
When it’s very difficult for us to love, we need to remember the cross and how much love we have received despite our sin and seek the abundant grace that helps us to put in perspective the sin of others as well as our own. It takes a great effort to see that others need the same mercy that we ask God for every day, to look diligently for evidences of grace in others, and to show love to believers. Yet this is the flag that identifies the authenticity of our faith.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34–35).
Love is the most excellent virtue. It is the most faithful guarantee of our faith. Love for God and others is the goal of the Christian life; all other virtues come from our obedience to this great commandment. The world has incorrectly defined love as a feeling or as a physical attraction, but the Bible teaches us what love is really about—a choice to love God and others. We need to be intentional to love with patience, with kindness, putting aside envy, boasting, arrogance, and any offense. By being diligent in seeking good for others, without being irritated, or taking into account the bad we receive, we have to pursue justice and truth. True love suffers all, believes all, endures all, supports all (1 Cor 13:4–7).
To love others God’s way, we need His power in action in our lives. We need to be filled by the Holy Spirit and by the love that is also a fruit of the Spirit and is the essence of God Himself. Decide to wear love every day (Col. 3:14).
- When you face temptation, do you tend to fall or persevere in faithfulness to Christ?
- Does the love of God and of others rule your decisions?