Walk in Love

Our kitchen window and back yard look out over a beautiful field edged by woods and orchards. Its beauty has often called me to an evening or morning stroll, but I must admit that I’ve never ventured beyond my fence.

You see, this idyllic expanse of acreage holds unseen “treasures.” Neighbors frequently use it for exercising their horses or pasturing their cows. The property must be maneuvered with one’s eyes as much as one’s feet.

Ephesians 5:2 tells us to “walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Walking in love toward others is more than just a warm, fuzzy feeling.

But what does walking in love look like?

Walking indicates steady forward momentum.

Love isn’t a one-time act, or something we turn on and off with our emotions. “Walk” indicates continued motion. We don’t get to sit down on the job because we grow weary with someone’s attitude or behavior.

Walking isn’t running.

We set a deliberate pace that will carry us for the required distance. This requires wisdom, refreshing ourselves, and building spiritual resiliency.

Walking through a messy world requires me to keep my eyes on where I place my next step.

It’s easy to lash out in self-defense, use conversation to slice and dice others in our hurt, or abandon people when we feel hurt. But loving others means every word and action should move us forward to glorify God and honor others.

Walking in love requires sacrifice (Ephesians 5:2).

Do I demonstrate love in the way I respond to people in stressful situations—the person who cuts me off in traffic, the snippy mom of the kid who got our child in trouble, our unreasonable and unscrupulous boss, or our irritating neighbor? Our love for others often shows up in small moments of irritation.

The key to loving others is loving God with all our heart, soul, and strength.

Worship Him in Spirit and truth with other believers (John 4:24). Grow under the teaching of the Word of God, and allow it to speak to your heart (Hebrews 10:25). Talk to God personally in intimate prayer. He wants to spend time with you. The more you know Him, the more a genuine love for others will pour from your life.

9 thoughts on “Walk in Love

  1. Thank you Shelly. I’ve always thought of love as active but hadn’t thought about walking through it with some caution and eyes on the path. It is a messy world. I don’t want to stumble into the messes but rather navigate. Not fearing the process but helping others and not falling in their pit in the meantime.

    • Thank you, Donna. Great observations. Coming alongside others is always a vital way of showing love, and it sometimes requires us to step into their messes.

  2. Thank you, Shelly, for your words today.I’m a single caregiver to my 90 year old mother who is declining with dementia. I’ve been so for 4 years. It’s so very difficult for me when she knows no one (home hospice or caregiver) is coming. Even without words she can hurt. And I was never one of her favorite children.
    I had a tough weekend with her. But the Lord is so faithful. About running the race, about His strength, and now your teaching about what love really looks like. Thank you…wanted you to know tbat your words were apples of gold to me today. God bless you! Mari

    • Your word are a blessing, Mari. Today is my mother’s birthday. I lost her after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. It is a vicious disease and teaches us a lot about what love looks like. Yes, God is so, so faithful, and I am so grateful for His sustaining grace.

  3. Thanks for this beautiful meditation, Shelly. I like the image of walking being steadily progressive, even with occasional stops to check out a beautiful leaf or insect. I can see the setting of your beautiful yard with the meadow and woods beyond.

    I’ve always liked the warning visualization of Psalm 1:1 – Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers…walk, stand, sit…a downward spiral. In other words, in that case, keep walking.

    • Thank you so much, Lois. I appreciate sharing the visualization of Psalm 1:1. Yes, we all need to keep on walking.

    • Lois, thank you for your words. Yes, the walk, stand, sit progression is a lesson we can all relate to and, hopefully, heed. I am grateful for your insight and wisdom.

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