In William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well, he says that many writers suffer from “the tyranny of the final product.” They are so concerned with selling their article or book, they neglect learning the process of how to think, plan, and organize. A jumbled manuscript, Zinsser believes, is produced when “the writer, his eye on the finish line, never gave enough thought to how to run the race.”

Author and minister A. W. Tozer applies that principle to our spiritual lives. In his book The Root of the Righteous, Tozer describes our tendency to be “concerned only with the fruit . . . [and] ignore the root out of which the fruit sprang.”

The apostle Peter reminded first-century believers that Christlike living and effective service result from a process. He urged them to grow in eight areas of spiritual development: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). If you possess these qualities in increasing measure, Peter said, “you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v.8).

God calls us to a wonderful process of learning to know Him, with the assurance that it will lead to productive service in His name and for His honor.