“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” –2 Peter 1:5-7
Contrary to what my 285-pound frame may lead you to believe, I’m not a huge fan of sweets. Keep your cake–I’ll take another cheeseburger, please. But there’s one thing that even I have a hard time resisting: chocolate chip cookies.
The thing with chocolate chip cookies is that, like a lot of things, NOT all are created equal. The really generic ones are barely edible; they work better as coasters. Chips Ahoy! in the blue bag are okay, but are hardly comparable to their Chewy Chips Ahoy! brothers. And while those do the trick from time to time, even the chewy cookies are no match for made-from-scratch, still-warm-from-the-oven cookies made with Tollhouse morsels (make mine milk chocolate, please!). A plate of those babies with a jug of milk and something good on TV–pure ecstasy.
How is it that the same cookie with the same ingredients can run the gamut in terms of taste and quality? Flour, brown sugar, chocolate chips, butter. Mix ’em. Bake ’em. Simple, right?
It’s been said over and over that the secret to living a truly Godly and happy life is love. We’re told, “Love your neighbors, love your enemies, love the creatures of the earth. Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Love is the answer to everything.
I’m not disagreeing with the theory that the world would be a better place if we could all hold hands and sing Kum Ba Yah in perfect harmony and share a Coke (and a plate of cookies) and be nice to each other and just get along for Christ’s sake. My theory is that we don’t know how to live in love. You can buy a package of cookies at the store, and they’ll be alright, but they won’t have the delicious aftertaste of the homemade cookies. Instead, oftentimes they leave us dissatisfied, and we find ourselves looking for something better to snack on.
This portion of Scripture shows me that love is also something that can’t just be pulled off of a store shelf; rather being able to really love is a process, starting with faith, then gradually adding in goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness. Only then can you love in a way that is genuinely revolutionary. And the results are incredible and leave an aftertaste that lasts for a long time.
It reminds me of this old Foreigner song. Listen closely to the lyrics.