I want to encourage us to think of virtues before we consider values. It is right for us as community leaders, especially of young people, to be shaping character and therefore emphasising virtues. But why, how and for what purpose?
We need to appreciate the two necessary components of developing character.
Firstly, the grace of God and secondly, human action.
Peter firstly highlights God’s grace and initiative as follows:
So, it’s clear our knowledge of God, our restoration to His likeness, our sharing in His Divine nature are a consequence of His grace and His promises. . . all by Him!
Peter follows this directly with a call to human action:
Peter goes on to say that if we “practice these qualities, we will never fall.” It is important to note that faith informs virtue and all the other attributes listed here supplement or support virtue.
So, Peter makes it clear that there is an effort to be made; an earnest desire and striving to grow and to develop God-honouring character. We can conclude that Grace does not cause us to lie around simply waiting for God to develop our character but, in fact, Grace motivates us to desire, seek and work towards that character revealed in Christ.
Before we continue, we need to try to define what we mean by “virtue”.
How does that help us? More next week.
 2 Peter 1:3-4
 2 Peter 1:5-8