Imagine the beauty of fields where the tassels of dark green corn and heads of golden wheat wave gently in the breeze. Or picture in your mind gardens where magnolias bloom, roses spill out their perfume, and pansies lift their faces toward the sun.

Then think of a plot of land that is a monument to neglect—overgrown with weeds that choke out the growth of what is good, useful, and beautiful.

Now let’s envision another kind of garden, one that has to do with spiritual realities. The apostle Peter told us how we can avoid being “barren” and “unfruitful” (2 Pet. 1:8). He encouraged believers to be diligent and spiritually productive, developing the character qualities of faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (vv.5-7).

Doing this requires effort. It demands that we work on our relationship with God—reading the Bible regularly, praying often, resisting temptation, focusing on obedience to Him, and reaching out to others in love. Peter mentioned the additional benefits of fruitfulness: a growing assurance, spiritual stability, and a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Savior (vv.10-11).

How productive is your life’s garden?