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.