If you possess these qualities . . . they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 1:8)

BOSSES LOVE PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEES. Managers look far and wide to find competent workers who are dependable and render service rather than excuses. The urgency of the bottom line in business requires everyone to do their part and contribute their share. Competency counts. Important as it is, however, it is preceded by character. John Maxwell quipped, “Competency will get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”

Productivity in the commerce of this world is of great value, but it is vastly inferior to spiritual productivity in the business of the kingdom. Peter outlined a solid list of Christ-centered traits that, when present, yield a harvest of righteousness in those we serve. Peter instructed us to possess them “in increasing measure.” This requires grafting our wills into God’s will and shaping our hearts after His. It also demands a supple spirit that allows the Holy Spirit to direct and refine us as needed.

It is interesting to note that Peter said possessing these qualities ensures that we will be productive in our knowledge of Jesus. Christians are typically educated well beyond their compliance. We don’t need more data; we need more character. When we possess the character traits of Jesus, we will know how to use our knowledge in a way that benefits others rather than simply increasing our learning. The end of knowledge should be Christlikeness.

Determine to use your knowledge of Jesus to enrich others today.

Jim Miller is a chaplain in the US Army. He is married, has two teenage children, and enjoys traveling, music, video games, and playing with his dogs.