“Follow in God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love….” –Ephesians 5:1-2a
I didn’t love Lexi at first. She was a difficult dog, and I didn’t take any pleasure in her. In the beginning I walked her not in love, as I do now, but as a duty. A dog needs walking,* so I walked her. I made a commitment when we adopted her; I did what I’d promised to do. When God adopts us as his children (Romans 8:15), we make a commitment to love and serve him. We do what we promise to do: feed the hungry, clothe the needy, care for the sick, visit the prisoners. We think we’re walking with God. But are we walking in love? Or are we merely fulfilling our duty? We’re taught that faith without works is dead. So also works without love are dead. Paul writes, “If I give all I possess to the poor…but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Sure, the hungry get fed and the sick get tended, but our souls aren’t nourished and restored. God doesn’t call us to do good works merely to get the work done; he calls us to exercise our faith so that we grow in love. When we walk in love, then we are truly walking with God.
Dear God, Teach me to walk in love. Amen
*I acknowledge that not all dogs need walking. Working dogs or dogs who live on a large property may not; some dogs may get their exercise at a dog park instead.