“Useless and Unproductive”
What is it that causes a Christian to be “useless and unproductive?”
You know the type—going through the motions, claiming faith, but not growing in the faith. This tragic outcome happens in those who fail to overcome persistent sin in their lives. Their failure causes them to be knocked to the curb. They are described as “useless” by God.
I went through a phase like this. In fact, I can truthfully say that most of my life was lived in that way.
The apostle Peter explains how to avoid this trap—what it takes to “keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” His eight step solution (2 Peter 1:5-8), can be applied perfectly by those who are not yet overcoming lust:
- Faith. Saving faith is the foundation. Sin of some type will dominate unless you have this. Next, you need to add:
- Goodness. Once you are joined to Christ, you act virtuously as best you can, giving up obvious sexual sin. Next, you need to add:
- Knowledge. You learn the facts about the godly life that God expects to see in you and the proper ways to bring this about. You acknowledge and submit to the truth of what Jesus taught about adultery in the heart. Next, you need to add:
- Self-control. You act on the knowledge of how you are to live and crucify “the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). You bring your members—your faculties and bodily parts—into obedience. Next, you need to add:
- Perseverance. You don’t give up. You hang in there and gain victory over lust, learning how to stay on course. Next, you need to add:
6-8. Godliness, Brotherly kindness and Love. These follow as a matter of course.
If you are losing the battle against lust, you may be confused by your situation. Though you have faith and seek to do the right things (Steps 1 and 2), you still lack the necessary knowledge (step 3) needed to overcome your sin.
Fortunately the knowledge you need is not a secret. There is more than enough information available to you. The articles and blog posts on this site are a good place to start. Once you diligently apply this knowledge, self-control and perseverance will follow as will the rest of the qualities Peter describes.
Pursue victory over lust. Stop being useless and unproductive. Claim this promise:
If you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8).