5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For 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.(2 Peter 1:5-8)
What tends to happen is that I may add something to my routine or habits but often it is unintentional. What must change is how and why I add things. Progress doesn’t happen haphazardly but intentionally. When I choose to add prayer or praise, when I choose to add Bible verses to my day, I make progress against the kingdom of darkness because I have added Light. When I meditate on scripture I have taken up space that would have otherwise been occupied by meaningless musings. Adding virtue isn’t hard to do it’s just doing it intentionally which seems to be the challenge. Urgent matters, distractions and even good things get in the way of adding the best things in life for my pursuit of godliness. Good doesn’t always transform to godly. Adding good things can simply distract from the best things. Just ask Martha in Luke 10:38-42.
We are told to add virtues; that is to add a higher moral standard. This doesn’t mean compared to someone else but against God’s word and myself. Who is it that God is calling me to be in light of scripture? What am I to add to my life in order to become a better moral agent of change? What it may mean is subtraction in order for addition. There’s only so many hours to a day and to have a higher moral standard means developing character. Subtracting ungodly or less-than-the-best uses of time for more encouraging and spirit building exercises is what I must do. Paul spoke of discipling himself for the purposes of godliness. This is what I must do also.
Subtraction through addition. Many times what may happen is that I feel I cannot add something until I subtract something else. This is not the case. Simply add now what I know to be good and godly and it will force out those things which are unnecessary and useless. It will take work to add but the work will automatically subtract. Don’t focus on the minuses just focus on the additions. When I do that the additions are always stronger than the minuses.