. . .  make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There’s an order to the walk of the disciple of Christ. Peter urges us to build on the foundation of faith, adding in succession goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. He adds that these qualities, in increasing measure will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of Jesus. I’ve been thinking about this passage lately, especially in the context of several conversations that are taking place both FTF and around the blogosphere. I’m visualizing a pyramid that an individual ascends throughout his faith journey. Everyone begins at the level of faith. Some don’t progress much further. A couple steps up you add knowledge and all the higher acheivements build on that, like self-control, perseverance and love.

Here’s my point. In my experience, the American evangelical church is stuck on the third step. We spend so much of our effort and our resources on building our own knowledge and force feeding it to our disciples that we lose track of the higher calling, the self-control, the brotherly kindness, the love. And so, our “discipleship” programs become all about studying the bible and less about learning to live a Spirit-filled, God-honoring, Christ-like life in the meantime.

PyramidI don’t have a problem with the accumulation of knowledge as long as it is tempered by love (knowledge makes us proud, but love makes us useful), and I love participating in Bible studies, but, I think we might be missing the point. I don’t think God wants us hanging around opening coffee shops on the third step. I think he wants us to keep climbing.

There’s something my dad used to say to us that I think applies here. “Don’t think about it, just do it.” (Sorry, Nike, my dad said it first.)

And now I’m telling you.