Did you know that maturity is a process? Physical, emotional, and spiritual maturity do not just suddenly happen; instead, we must recognize them as time-consuming and life-changing. Peter, inspired by the Spirit, shows us the process that begins with diligence. From diligence (reliable excellence), the apostle leads us to moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. It starts with reliability in excellence to "agape" love. The end result of our maturity is that unconditional, sacrficial love that God has shown us flowing to those we love and to those who have not heard the truth. To get from diligence to love, each of us must commit to moral excellence in a culture that has almost no morality left. We must gain knowledge from Scriptures for the journey ahead. Knowledge teaches us what is right and wrong, and self-control is the application of that knowledge. Self-control is governed by our willingness to persevere through the temptations and struggles of life. That perseverance backed by the other qualities leads us to godliness, a word you may never feel capable of living up to. Godliness leads us to brotherly love which then pushes us into that "agape" love that God has shown us. This is the process to spiritual maturity, and it does not just happen. It starts by finding an accountability partner, a mature Christian who can teach you how to walk with Jesus. You and I must, then, choose to grow in Christ to the point that we love unconditionally and sacrificially.

Help me, Lord, to choose to grow in my faith. Help me to follow Your plan for growth as I find someone who can disciple me and prepare me for your future plans.