Last week I watched a young friend earn his black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. The audience applauded as each young person was recognized; white belts earned yellow belts, yellow belts earned orange belts, orange belts earned green belts, green belts earned purple belts, purple belts earned blue belts, blue belts earned brown belts, and brown belts earned black belts!

Building one upon the other, levels of accomplishment were recognized and affirmed. Each level of mastery was essential for the next step of growth and achievement. Every belt made a statement about the participant’s commitment, effort, and perseverance.

Peter recognized accomplishment and spotlighted the “black belt” of Christian Life. In his second letter he writes, For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:5-7)

Years earlier Peter had been unable to voice his love for Jesus (John 21) but now after years of faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness he had received his “black belt” of love. And we can too.

For years my young friend kept his eye on the prize. He obeyed his instructor, worked hard, overcame obstacles, and persevered until he received his black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. So too, as Christians, we face daily challenges. Keep your eye on the prize, take life one step at a time and strive toward and live a life of love.

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