Once again, it has been several weeks if not months since the third part was posted, but as they say, better late than never. I have one more scripture to study for this passage; 2 Peter 1:7 – And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

The dictionary doesn’t have ‘brotherly kindness” but if we look at kindness and then add who we are to show this too, I believe that we can see what our mission is. Kindness is the state, quality or habit of being kind, a kind act or treatment, a kind feeling, affection or goodwill. If one is described as kind, they would be sympathetic, friendly, gentle, tender-hearted, generous and cordial. So being kind is a habit that we can form. As a habit, it is something to be practiced over and over. It is a state of being, one is kind. We all know people that are kind. But to truly show a Godly character, we need to have brotherly kindness. How is this different?

I want to digress just a little. In a healthy family, the members work together, support each other, are kind one to another, and maybe even bring judgment (with wisdom hopefully). They do their best to help the family continue to grow together. This kindness that the family members have one to another is the kindness we need to show to everyone, not just those that love us and are kind back. The love, affection, concern, that we show to our family, friends and loved ones is what we need to show to all those around us. We are to “Love our neighbor as ourself” Luke 10:27-37. This passage includes the story about the Good Samaritan. According to tradition, the Samaritan was the least likely person to show kindness to the Jew that was along side the road. We have to be willing to show brotherly kindness even when we might be scoffed at or questioned. In 2 Peter it says that we are to add brotherly kindness to godliness, the evidence of godliness is show through our actions of brotherly kindness.

On top of brotherly kindness we are to add charity. Charity is described as the love of God for man or man for his fellow man, an act of good will or affection, the feeling of goodwill, benevolence. Another word that is commonly used in place of charity is love.

1 Corinthians devotes the whole of chapter 13 to this subject, while I am not going to go over it specifically, I want to point out a few highlights that Biblically define charity. In this chapter we can find that anything we do that is not a result of love or is done in or because of love is done in vein. We can do great things for people but if we do not have love, there is no profit or gain. Verses 4 through 8 specifically describe what charity is: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” We have seen several of these attributes already in this study. For us to completely pattern our lives after Christ, we must have charity. The last verse states “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

Of everything listed here in 2 Peter 1, charity is of the utmost importance. If we have charity, we will have all the characteristics. It is with charity that we can take on faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, and brotherly kindness. Let us each be careful to show charity, and love to all those we come in contact with. Before we act out of emotion let us pause and show forth charity. This will set us apart as true Christians. Those that just profess to love Christ will not have the grace to show charity to not only their loved ones, but also to their enemies.

It was God’s love toward us that brought us his son Jesus, as his followers, it is this same love and mercy that we are to exhibit. May we take this challenge to allow God’s love to shine through us and touch the lives of those around us. As we work diligently to add each attribute into our lives, let us always do so in love, in doing so, we will become more like Christ. May we live our lives to draw souls to him.

Once again, let’s read 2 Peter 1:5-8 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.