564. Useless And Unfruitful — Or Not

“The apostle Peter,” Stan began, “in his second letter had an interesting way of saying something.  It strikes me that he was almost going out of his way to avoid being positive.”

“I know people like that,” I responded.  “They seem to have a hard time saying something in a positive way.”

“However,” Stan replied, “what Peter wrote turns out to be extremely positive.’

“You’re kind of confusing me, Stan,” I replied, “what did Peter write?”

“At the beginning of his second letter,” Stan said, “Peter lists a whole bunch of things that I’m to do in order to move along the path from conversion in the direction of transformation.  He calls them things that will help me be a partaker of God’s divine nature in and through Christ.”

“What sort of things?” I asked.

“Well,” Stan replied, “he starts with ‘moral excellence’ and several steps later ends with ‘Christian love’.”  In between are things like knowledge and self-control.  As we get around to them, we will talk about each one of the steps that Peter covers, but those will be discussions for other days.”

“However,” he continued, “what I want to focus on is Peter’s end-result and what seems to me to be a somewhat strange way to express it.”

“What did he say?” I asked.

“To put it in personal terms,” Stan replied, “what Peter wrote to me is that if the listed qualities are mine and are increasing, I will not be useless or unfruitful in the true knowledge of Christ.”

“Not useless and not unfruitful?”  I replied.  “Sounds kind of like double-speak to me. I wonder why he didn’t just write that you will be useful and fruitful.”

“You will have to ask him,” Stan responded.  “However, I do think that his two negatives turn out to be a wonderful positive in having true knowledge of Christ.”

“Knowledge of Christ,” I replied.  “Isn’t that how Jesus defined ‘eternal life’?”

“It is,” Stan replied.  “In the seventeenth chapter of John’s gospel.  And,” he continued, “I think that such knowledge is to occur on this side of eternity.  As a result, what Peter has written to me in his second letter, is the perfect road map for getting to the knowledge of God the Father and His Son on this side of eternity.”

“So,” Stan concluded, “Peter’s emphasis on the negative turns into a fabulous positive.  I just need to follow the steps!”

“Don’t not follow,” I said with a smile.


For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 1:8.

And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.  John 17:3.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for allowing me to pursue knowing you and your Son on this side of eternity.  Thank you for showing me the steps that are available in pursuing that knowledge.  I confess that too often I do not pursue knowing you because I think I already know enough and I am too self-focused to pursue all you have for me.  Please forgive that foolishness.  And please help me in following all of your leading in pursuing and obtaining your true knowledge.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Is not being useless and not being unfruitful the same as being useful and bearing fruit?  Is it better to be acting in a positive way, rather than not acting in a negative way?  Why or why not?  How could the way you answer those questions have an impact on your faith walk?  What does that look like?

Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to S. Tory Teller at: waiting4thetrain@gmail.com.

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