Make every effort to add to your faith. (2 Pet. 1:5)

MAKING A HUGE SNOWMAN can be a blast. In the cold and abundantly snowy conditions of a Michigan winter, my kids and I bundled up, ran outside, and began to build a snowman by making huge snowballs. Creating the base of the snowman required strenuous leg and back effort. Back and upper body strength were needed to place the middle snowball atop the base. We needed a ladder to put the snowman’s head in place. We continued to build and pack the snow until what stood before us resembled the abominable snowman. We had a great time, but I must say that since I have seen the movie Frozen about fifteen times (thanks, kids!), I have lost the desire to build a snowman.

The virtues Peter urged us to add to our faith are meant to increase it in size and substance. We are to amass, as it were, the attributes of Jesus Christ. Peter insisted that we are to “make every effort” to do this. This exhortation stresses the need for intentionality. Each day we should be evaluating the presence or absence of these qualities in our lives. Imagine rolling a snowball of character: gradually adding depth, density, and size. That gradual accrual illustrates the process-oriented nature of spiritual growth.

As our walk progresses, we display goodness, accumulate knowledge, exhibit self-control, demonstrate perseverance, and embody love in increasing measure.

Assess the strength of the virtues listed in your life.

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.