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 things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall.
2 Peter 1:5-10
Being a new Orthodox convert, sometimes I get caught up in all the things we DO as Orthodox and I am not surprised by the view of so many that the Orthodox are just a group of people trapped in dead religiosity. But then I read a scripture like this one above that reminds me how important it is that we DO religion. Of course I mean that we are actively becoming more like Christ by doing what St. Peter tells us, but also that we are actively training our bodies and our souls to be more like Christ as well. How do you add virtues like patience and self-control if you don’t practice abstaining from things (Jesus commands this)? How do you practice brotherly love without charity and almsgiving (another command by Jesus)? We don’t do these things to win God’s favor or “get in good with the Big Man Upstairs” but because by doing them, we are zealously confirming our call and election and in the process, becoming more like what we are called and elected to be.