I come from a line of amazing ladies. My mom was a school teacher for many years and I observed many students cross her path later in life with loving appreciation of her. She went into education partly by influence from my grandmother, who was a Home Economics teacher. Grandmother sewed many things for me and our family and she loved to cook amazing meals with “presentation.” I remember every plate looking beautiful and tasting just as yummy!
One of Grandmother’s goals was to pass these traditions on to the next generation. She taught her daughters and granddaughters all she knew. In fact, I learned to sew and cook by her example.
Today, I don’t sew much–but I know how. Concerning cooking, I enjoy eating at home with the family, but I’m in no way a “presenter” like my Grandmother. But one thing I gleaned from her is the importance of following a pattern or a recipe. In other words, it’s very important to remember all the steps and all the ingredients.
As an example, in his second letter, Peter gave some steps of fruitfulness. He said, “But for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:5-7). And if we’ll read this passage like a recipe, we’ll understand why each part is so important:
- Be diligent [get your apron on and be prepared].
- Faith is the first ingredient in your mixing bowl [God has given every person a measure of faith to start with (Romans 12:3)].
- Next, add virtue [what we call character] to your bowl. This has to be one of the early ingredients in the life of a Christian or their witness can be ruined.
- Now it’s time to add knowledge [without wisdom and understanding, we’ll be flaky].
- Don’t forget the next ingredient: self-control. This must follow knowledge or we’ll get puffed up thinking we’re ready to conquer the world when we’re really only half-baked.
- We added self-control so we won’t be self-deceived…But now it’s time to add perseverance [to help us temper self-control].
- The next ingredient is godliness. This is our spiritual clothing. If we added it before knowledge and self-control, some people wouldn’t take our Christianity seriously.
- Now that we’re looking more like Jesus, we must add brotherly kindness [which starts at home–testing our recipe on those nearest and dearest to us].
- Finally, and most importantly, the last ingredient is brotherly love [which prepares our heart to love the unlovable of the world just as Christ does].
“For if these [ingredients] are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 5:8). Another translation says, “The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus” (NLT).
You may or may not know how to cook or sew, but as you learn to follow the instructions and steps given us in God’s Word, I promise you’ll be a teacher. Little ones are watching and learning all around you. And I’m certain their later appreciation will be proof of your fruitfulness.
And by the way, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!