Day 11

Walking in Love

from the 1, 2 & 3 John reading plan

2 John 1:1-13, John 8:31-32, 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

BY Lore Ferguson Wilbert

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).

Post Comments (83)

83 thoughts on "Walking in Love"

  1. Melissa Mcronney says:


  2. DOROTHY says:

    Heidi, in a way I agree with Janie. I often end up showing/telling about my faith when I talk about my oldest son’s death and now my niece’s death. Many people ask after my story how I got through it and that is when I say that my faith is what got me through oth of them. I hope this helps.

    1. Traci Gendron says:

      I’m sorry you have had to go through the loss of your son & niece. My son has an extremely rare illness. I say the same thing. God has carried me through.

  3. DOROTHY says:

    Churchmouse, I had a study guide on one of the other studies like that.
    Angie, Kristine Loughman and all the other teachers out there you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know I have difficulties with my computer programs when I do my continuing education so I can imagine how difficult it would be as a teacher.

  4. Kerry Rowley says:

    I really appreciated today’s writing to encourage us to keep pace and remember some are not at the same gospel level that we are. I’m dealing with a precious daughter-in-law-to-be whose May 9th wedding to my son has been greatly affected by the current situation. We are facing many challenges together since she is in my town where the now “family only” wedding will be and her family lives in another state. Over the past 2 days God has really worked on me to match my walk to hers and not try to out pace her. I will say I had a night I didn’t sleep well with many tears. But God needed to take me through that to bring me to the place I am now. I spent time rereading from the other day “Love is patient …”. I have greatly needed this week. Thank you God for loving me enough to walk with me so that I can walk with others as you would have me walk. I love my SRT girlfriends. I read everyday but rarely post. But I’m here reading the wisdom you each share.

  5. Diana Fleenor says:

    When I began this study of John’s epistles, I would read the Scriptures and then the devotion before bringing my thoughts to my personal prayer journal. But, today, I waited to read the devotion until I wrote my own thoughts. Often my view of the passages focuses on a somewhat different aspect of what can be gleaned than what the devotion writer has penned. Though I can sometimes feel a bit “different”, I am glad for the diversity.

    Lore’s presentation of the pacing we need in the teaching of Christ is such a good reminder of our own tendency to pull away from the teachings of Christ. I see this is this word today. Yet, my eyes fixed also on John’s instruction to the “elect lady” that “if anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked words.”

    Eek! What it seems John is telling us there is a kind of not abiding in Christ’s teachings which requires a strong rebuke, even a kind of exclusion. This is a hard truth to walk in with today’s “tolerance” minded culture. However, I read in my study Bible notes that this instruction is to protect the purity of the church from unsound doctrine. This is a good and loving way of our Lord.

    My prayers today were filled with pleas to grant leaders and ordinary members the Spirit of discernment in order to make right and wise decisions and actions in this instruction given by God through John. May he have mercy on his Bride and purify us of where we have “received” these “deceivers”. And my prayers go with all of you in regard to teachers and students, parents and children, abusers and the abused. May the Lord bring healing through the pure and true gospel in which we love not in word and talk, but in deed and in truth.

  6. DOROTHY says:

    Lore summed up my faith in her last paragraph. My life and my faith has had so many ups and downs that it could be one of the wildest roller coasters around. I am the youngest of four and my three older siblings are very smart. My father wouldn’t believe that I had learning disabilities he thought I was just lazy. My mom understood though (I think it helped she was a teacher). My father compared me to my siblings all the time. I’m epileptic. I didn’t get a college degree until late in life and then it was an associates degree, which to my father wasn’t a degree and neither was my practical nursing certification (even though I am able to make a good living at it). I married a man, who later I divorced, who didn’t work. My two sons had/have attention deficit/hyperactive disorder and so does my ex-husband which my father at first didn’t believe was real. I was turned in for supposed abuse when all it was was the AD/HD. My boys and I were homeless for a month. My mom was hit on her bicycle and had a broken neck and lived and walked again. My oldest son died the day after his 18th birthday. My other son got arrested for drugs and was wild and uncontrollable for a while. My niece who was also my roommate just recently died in a car accident and two days later I had a car accident and totaled my car. But my faith is strong and lives on.

  7. Mari V says:

    I really felt convicted this morning as I need to walk in love and my stride needs to match that walk here in my home. Even when smart alec remarks are thrown at me. Deep breaths… I try not to respond (but often do). Sigh!!
    Good thing we all love Jesus and most of the time it’s not a big deal but it’s hard when your trying to be respectful to your elderly mother while trying to be an example to my own kids.

  8. Jill K says:

    Erin, I’ve been in that season of life and remember how truly difficult it was. God sees, He knows. I believe your desire to spend time with him pleases him. Think of the joy it gives the King watching you his beloved child care for the sweet babies he has put in your care. What a beautiful service you are doing in His name. Don’t lose heart. He knows your hearts desire. This season will pass all to soon and you will have the time for quiet and also the memories of this time. Praying for you today!

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