As we celebrate Valentine's Day, it caused me stop and think about what it really means to "Walk in Love." Have you ever really stopped to think about what this means? When you do, you will probably realize what a challenge this can be. In addition, if you are honest with yourself, you will also have to admit (me included) that oftentimes you will actually fall short of accomplishing this task on a daily basis. As for me, it wasn't until I started living my life "on purpose" and working on my personal relationship with God, did I even realize that I was falling short. And might I add, it was a bitter pill to swallow once I was able to admit just how much I was coming up short and in what areas. In my willingness to accept and face my shortcomings, what I saw was that my words, actions and thoughts were not conducive to my being able to walk in love let alone even coming remotely close to being an imitator of God as we are all called to do.
My relationship with God has taught me, that the person who is more spiritually mature, is the one who needs to do what is right the most and for the longest period of time. And we also have to be willing to do what is right even when we don't think that anyone is looking! Yes, I said it! So in other words, don't look for any applause for doing what God has called us to do and that is to serve others. This is huge for most of us! But understand and know that you will never truly be free until you die to trying to impress other people! Not only that, we are oftentimes willing to go out into the world and pretend that we have it all together but then we live in the midst of turmoil in our own homes. Ouch! I can't tell you how many times I have fallen into this trap! And then I end up feeling guilty for my behavior. But once again, God has taught me that we don't have to feel guilty because He is a forgiving God and loves us unconditionally! He does not expect perfection but He does expect progress.
Which then leads me to the point of what I actually mean when I say, "The Other Side of Love." This is an area where I have struggled. The other side of love are those moments of confrontation, when we have to be willing to stand up and speak out against those behaviors that are wrong. When I say wrong, I mean that either they are abusive towards us or enabling for others. As a parent, I have often felt guilty about having to chastise my children because I felt that in doing so, It causes me to fail in my daily love walk. But, as I continue to grow in spiritual maturity, I have now come to realize, that by not chastising them and confronting their bad behavior, I am actually doing more harm than good and ultimately falling short in my responsibility as a parent. This was a lesson that I'm glad I learned before it is too late!
I can't think of a better day than today, to make up your mind to follow what it says in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 2 that specifically commands us all to "walk in love." Nothing could be a more beautiful or direct definition of how we are to live as Christians in terms of behavior than that. However, one last footnote, in making this choice, don't let the end of Valentine's Day also, be the end of your "Love Walk!"