2 Peter 1:2-7 (NLT)
2 May God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better.3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! 4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.7 Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.

In these verses the Apostle Peter writes about living a godly and moral life. Moral excellence leads to a better understanding of God, which leads to one�s own self-control, which then leads to genuine love for others.

I think most people would like to say they try to live a godly and moral life, but what is that? A godly and moral life is where someone holds onto religious convictions and values of what they believe to be right or wrong. These values help us decide our actions in life. The Bible gives us some of the best examples of moral beliefs. The Bible also points out that which is considered to be against the nature of God, such as in Galatians 5:19-21 where it says, �Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such. If I am to hold onto a godly and moral life then I believe in what is right and I am opposed to what is wrong.

Even Ephesians 5 tells us to live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved us and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away our sins. It then goes on to say, let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes--these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

Most of us know these are true moral values and they are meant to inspire each of us to live good lives. We hold them close to our heart so that we might learn how to love one another the way God intended. However there are some who try to distort this truth by saying when you hold onto a moral value you hate anyone else who does not hold that same value. That is so far from the truth. Remember the purpose of having godly and moral values is so we grow to have genuine love for everyone.

I believe it is wrong to lie, but I can be honest and say I know I have lied before. I know it is wrong to hate, but there have been times I could not control my feelings. I know it is wrong to talk about others and yet I have done that too. It is why I have compassion for those who struggle against what is considered to be godly and moral. We might know what is right, but we often don�t do it. We might know what is wrong, but we do it anyway.

When I hear someone standup and say, �This is a moral value I believe in�, I�m not hearing them say they hate anyone or wish to do them harm. I�m hearing them say this is what I believe best for me that I may learn to love in the manner my God wants me to love.