‘For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,  and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,  and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ… Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.  I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me’. From 2 Peter 1:5-8, 12-14.

Those who know me know that I’m not much of a hot drink person. Tea and Coffee don’t interest me, but, when I’m in the mood, a good Hot Chocolate is wonderful, and January 31st is National Hot Chocolate Day!

I say a good Hot Chocolate, because there are simpler versions, and some that just aren’t much good at all. For me a Hot Chocolate has to be a milk drink, not water. So, I start by heating a mug of milk in the microwave and then I add the chocolate powder. Recently (in an attempt to be healthier) I’ve begun using natural cacao powder and adding a spoonful of honey to sweeten it. Admittedly I then make it less healthy by adding a generous portion of mini marshmallows and topping it off with squirty cream, but it’s just not the same without them.

Adding the right ingredients makes things taste so much better, and adding the right characteristics and actions to our lives makes them so much better too. It makes us feel that we’re not just getting by but really flourishing.

The apostle Peter, in his second letter, lists some wonderful ingredients with which to supplement our faith and our lives, including virtue, knowledge, godliness and love. He then says that he sees it as his role to stir up his readers by way of reminder (v13) – and I must add that using natural cacao in Hot Chocolate does require extra stirring!

Adding these traits to our lives and giving ourselves a good stir from time to time to ensure we’re not settling, will help us to lead lives that are full and rich, a sweet aroma to the Lord (2 Cor 2:15), and a joy and blessing to others.