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Daily Devotional 2 Peter 1:3–11

In Carol Dweck’s popular book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success she explains a theory that became popular in the classroom. Students with a growth mindset believe their skills and understanding can be improved with study and practice. They are engaged in the teaching and learning process.

For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control.

2 PETER 1:5–6

How about us? Do we have a growth mindset when it comes to our Christian walk? Remaining open to input and instruction should be our approach to all areas of life, including the spiritual. In 2 Peter 1, Peter assured his audience that God had given them everything they need to pursue spiritual growth and maturity (v. 3). He describes the goal of discipleship as godliness (“good worship”), intimacy with God, and freedom from evil desires (v. 4).

Then Peter lays out a pattern to attain growth, which begins with a basic faith in Jesus Christ. While salvation is essential, it is only the starting place. Peter explains the process, “Add to your faith goodness” (v. 6), virtue, or high moral standards. True faith affects how we live.

To goodness, we are to add “knowledge” or the ability to discern truth. These believers were to weigh all new knowledge against the Scripture. After knowledge, Peter calls them to “self-control” (the discipline to resist temptation) and “perseverance” (the strength to withstand trials).

The very top of this progression is love (v. 7). Philadelphia (“brotherly kindness”) and agape (“love”). The process unfolds like a flower—petal by petal—until the full revelation of love at the end. In verse 8, Peter urges us to teachability. While believers already “possess these qualities” in some measure, loving God with our mind means that we keep growing and focus on the eternal reward (v. 11).

Go Deeper

Do you have a “growth” or “fixed” mindset? How open are you to input and instruction? In what ways are you pursuing spiritual growth and truth?

Pray with Us:

We may think that growth is attained by knowledge. But today’s passage says that growth begins with faith, and then comes goodness, then knowledge. May we live by faith, with goodness, knowledge, and Your love. Amen!

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