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2 Peter 1:7: And Godliness With Brotherly Affection, And Brotherly Affection With Love.

2 Peter 1:7
[7] And godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (ESV)

To our godliness we are to add brotherly affection and love. We struggle with this one. Instead of demonstrating brotherly affection, we are lucky if we can muster up some "brotherly tolerance." Many Christians will say things like, "I love my brother, but I don't like them." They think it is biblically acceptable to dislike their brother. 

Peter emphasizes that the believer in Jesus Christ is to supplement his faith with certain qualities. So far, we have seen that we are to add virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, and godliness. This addition of brotherly affection is not easy. Because we are sinful creatures we discover that our brother or sister in Christ does things that hurt and offend us. 

How do we offer brotherly affection to people who do not offer any brotherly affection to us? We will not ever do it in our own strength. The Holy Spirit is given to us to help us. We will have to overlook the fact that our brother does not always act like a good brother. We will have to take the first step, whether our brother responds properly or not.

This leads us to this second quality that we are to supplement our faith with; love. Love is the very thing that sets us apart from those who do not know God. Jesus said in John 13:35: "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This love that we are to have needs to be like the love we have received from Christ. It is a love that overlooks faults and glorifies the Savior.

Think of that person who claims to be a Christian who has hurt you deeply. Do you agree that God is calling you to love them? Ask God to help you. Remember how unlovely you were when God reached you with his love. That is the kind of love he wants you to share. The Holy Spirit will help you to love.