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. Liza Jane says:

    Anonymous, thank you for showing me another perspective to “look at”. Does your district have anything in place that can help with your new found downtime? I understand everything you are saying, that is another reason I think that we have to be so mindful of what we post. I can imagine it’s hard for you to see all of these families that are connecting with family members and others. . I know our district has teachers helping with sacks of food for families, stuffing backpacks with needed items (toothpaste, laundry detergent, non perishable foods, etc) for our students to get them through the weekends? They also have set up check in’s for pre K- 12th with teachers and teaching assistants. In some cases it might just be a note mailed, or I know our pre-k and kindergarten teachers and aids are reading books, teaching easy art lessons, etc. over Zoom and google classroom. Also, a few of our teachers are volunteering at our local library with curbside pick up, sanitizing books, reading to younger children that is later downloaded on Facebook ( which you can do from home). I think our situation is rather unique because of the poverty here, so some of these programs have been in place for awhile. I will be praying for you during this time,that God will open doors for your depression to subside and that doors concerning your future will be opened. ❤️❤️

  2. SD says:

    This study blessed my heart and really put into perspective the work I have been doing since the pandemic began. I have been facilitating and organizing volunteer tutors to work with a refugee population virtually. Previously, we were doing this work in person so switching to everything online has sometimes been a struggle. At the beginning, I think all of us assumed that the technology would cause some difficulty but that would be resolved quickly. We were very very wrong. It has been such a blessing to watch my volunteers slow down to explain the technology to these students. They have not sprinted ahead and just taken control. They have also slowed down by asking how each of these students are doing personally. We may not be getting as much ‘work’ accomplished, but I believe God is blessing this time abundantly and we are accomplishing greater things in our relationships with these students and their families.
    So thankful for the perspective of walking with God to work with these students versus speeding ahead!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Liza Jane, Thank you for sharing what life is like right now for you and your family, as well as those families you serve in your district. I can imagine that your life is really too full right now, and that the parents of your students are understandably being stretched too thin.
    I just wanted to (gently) add another perspective. I am a part-time teacher (single, mid-30s). I teach a combined Pre-K/Kindergarten class. My down time quotient has shot up in the past several weeks, so there is a 100% chance that I have the time for extended walks with no other responsibilities weighing me down. The thing is, if I am on one of those walks, it probably took a massive amount of energy to force myself into it, because I struggle significantly with mental health, and the extra down time isn’t helping. While I’m on that walk, I might be thinking about my students and how to accommodate their massive range of abilities without drowning myself in planning for their distance education each week. I might be thinking about the estranged relationship I have with my aging parents, or praying that they don’t get this virus before we have the chance to reconcile. I might be beating myself up because I’ve needed to vacuum my living room carpet for days, but depression just doesn’t let up. I might be thinking about how I was laid off from my other part-time job, and I’m not quite sure how finances are going to work over the next few months. I won’t post any of this on social media along with the photo I took on my walk because I’m pretty private, but I also don’t want to downplay the struggle that parents are walking through right now. But that photo represents a lot more than a leisurely walk. I recognize that the present reality of parents is really, really hard. And I’m not going to say “but” here. I am going to say “and”. Life is really, really hard for parents right now. AND, no matter what social media says, no matter what someone else’s life might look like on the outside, there is always, always more going on than meets the eye. <3

  4. Taylor says:

    I am thankful for the SRT community that we can all gather here at our own appointed times to walk with the Lord. My appointed time to walk in His love is first thing in the morning – even though during quarantine that time for me is about 9:30 am lol. I also enjoy following the study a day behind to read everyone’s comments and soak in more Truth and encouragement. Jenny Lucas, thank you for your comment. I feel as though I’m also trying to rush and find my person rather than trusting God and waiting for Him. Praying for you that we can both surrender, trust, and obey. Thank you Lord for SRT that we can encourage one another in our walks with You and thank you for the women who are spiritually further in their walks to encourage us who are still Christian infants, toddlers, and children.

  5. Liza Jane says:

    During these crazy time of “remote learning” I pray for God to give all of the teachers and families the resources that are needed to enrich the lives of everyone involved. I am not only an administrator, but am a mother of 5 children. I pray daily that my younger teachers are able to see the stress on these parents that are suddenly thrust into the full time learning process of their children, while usually trying to hold down their full time jobs. I have teachers posting on social media about their long walks, extra time at the lake/ river, life slowing down, and I know many of these families are drowning trying to get everything done. This is not a slowing down time for them at all. In my home I have a Senior that is missing not only all of the special activities, but his special recognitions for academic and athletic successes during high school. Not to mention missing his Senior year of baseball after years of competitive travel baseball and basketball. I am trying to teach 4 different grade levels in my home, as well as editing his end of the year papers and fulfilling all kinds of requirements our district has put into effect to help these Seniors have the best graduation season they can have. My husband is self employed with approximately 150 employees relying on him. Oh, and then my job as an elementary administrator as well. Our district is such a low income area that it is 100 % free and reduced lunch so we are having busses that deliver meals not only for the week but on the weekends too. Also, our remote learning did not start until all homes could have free cable installed, so the students in the public school had a 3 week break before starting the remote learning. My older children have been so wonderful to step in, which is the only way we have kept any sanity. I say all of this because I’ve noticed that there are quite a few teachers that are part of this study and I just hope to give them a glimpse at what is going on in families that actually have resources. As I have told my teachers, 1)remember you have one grade level to teach, many of these families are dealing with more than one grade level 2) some parents are working from home and trying to teach, others are loosing jobs, under financial stress and trying to teach 3) some families are dealing with health situations that we do not know about and 4) very few families are finding extra time to connect with each other and others outside of their home. Our Superintendent has asked the teachers to be mindful about what they are posting on social media. Most of these families are under stress, so showing all the extras you have time for now is not in the best interest of our students. And remember, we are all in this together. ❤️❤️

    1. Casey Lewis says:

      This is why I have chosen to abstain from social media during this time and maybe even after. It is a joy thief for me. I am constantly comparing my life, my house, my kids to the small tidbits of someone’s else’s. I can’t sort through that added stress. Thank for sharing a perspective that I can relate too.

    2. Tara Beatty says:

      I truly appreciate you sharing this post.

  6. Natasha G says:

    I want to continue to grow in my daily walk with the Lord and to enjoy just being in step with Him and His Presence.

  7. Nicole Burgos says:

    I liked how she talks about being on the same pace with others . To walk in love ❤️

  8. Lesia DeJesus says:

    These are all beautiful words but how do you know. How do you know that you are not ahead or behind him. These are the questions that plague me.

    1. Ashley Thomas says:

      I believe John is saying to walk in the commandments given by God. If you are obeying those commandments, then you are not lagging behind or running ahead. We all fall short at some point, but we just need to do our best to keep our faith in Him, and to obey the word.

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