Spiritual Growth - Trust Fall Series


Godliness, Brotherly Love, and Love

As we each go along our paths of building character, there is something God will want to develop in all of us, and that is godliness. Godliness means to worship well. This doesn’t mean that you are perfect all the time, it means that you worship well.

I’ll never sing well. My friends and family will give testimony of that. But I can worship well. I’ll never be able to write songs. But I can worship well.

Godliness is not found in being a pastor, a missionary, or a minister. You can be a plumber and worship well. You can be a CPA and worship well. You can be a student and worship well. You can worship God well through your hardest time, your easiest time, and every time in between. Be a person that worships well. (1 Timothy 4:8)

The next attribute that Peter gives us is brotherly kindness. (Some versions say “brotherly love.”) The Greek word is phileo. That’s why Philadelphia is called “the city of brotherly love”.

This kind of love means to show kindness to those around you in your workplace, in your family, to your neighbors – to the person in the apartment next door or the condo above or below you. God wants us to have brotherly kindness.

Finally, Peter ends with love. Now, why would he say brotherly love and then love? In the Greek, these are two different words. One is phileo, which means “brotherly love,” (1 Thessalonians 2:8) the other is agape, which means “God’s love.” (1 Corinthians 13)

What Peter is doing right here is spiking the ball and saying, “I want you to have these aspects in your life in a growing degree.”

You don’t need to wait until you have one love to have the other. All of these things are happening and growing together. Which ones do you need to really concentrate on right now in your Christian life? Are you about to give in? Are you about to give up? What is it?

When you look at a little baby while he is growing, do you ever say, “Did you see that baby the other day? He had a 10-year-old hand but like a 5-year-old foot.” This wouldn’t make sense. Similarly, you would never look at a child and say, “Hey, you are a 5-year-old. Why don’t you look like a 10-year-old?” Growth happens simultaneously in all areas of our lives at its own pace. Will we let God grow us in His perfect wisdom at the rhythm that would be best for us and for everyone around us?