Walking in Love
Open Your Bible
2 John 1:1-13, John 8:31-32, 1 Corinthians 3:6-9
There is a foot of height between us, but I have learned to keep up, quicken my step, and match my stride to my husband’s. He ran Division 1 Track and Field for his university and, to this day, he can run a mile while I’m still changing into my sneakers.
But when we walk, we walk at a matched pace: he’s a little slower than normal and I’m a little faster. When he asks me to go for a walk, he does it because he loves me and he loves spending time with me. Walking at different paces—though more comfortable for each of us—would not be the loving thing to do.
I think of this today while reading the second letter of John. He speaks of walking in love (2 John 6) and then goes on to warn of those who walk ahead on their own, rather than abide in Christ’s teaching (v.9). I can think of times when I’ve lagged behind or gotten ahead and someone else has paid the price for it. I tend to assume other people view the gospel through the same lens I do, and then I forget to communicate both love and truth to someone whose path has strayed (Ephesians 4:15).
There have been times when I have not abided in Christ’s teachings because, deep down, I think I can somehow say it better or faster or smarter. Or I have lagged behind, not kept up with the deep and fervent truth of the gospel, and become lazy in my sin and relationships with others.
The flurry of day-to-day life here on earth can cause us to forget what’s real, true, and eternal. We forget and we wander off, distracted. No wonder the writer of Hebrews said, “Let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2). There is much to be said for the hard work of running the race toward Jesus, but here in his letter, John tells us to simply walk—to walk in love.
For me, it’s always easier to run ahead or lag behind, to grow distracted by what’s around me or impatient for what’s ahead of me. But John says, Beloved, walk. Match your pace to the One who loved you first and walk, one step in front of another, faithful in practice—not for a particular result, but simply to walk with your Father and enjoy His presence. This reminds me of Enoch, whose whole existence could be wrapped up with this line: he “walked faithfully with God; then he was no more because God took him away” (Genesis 5:24, NIV).
To walk in love is to match my stride to the love of God, the King of the universe, who put on flesh and became fully human to show us how to live (John 1:14; 1John 4:2). He slowed His pace to meet ours, to teach us how to run the race. In the end and by His grace, may our own lives echo these words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2Timothy 4:7).