I abandoned the three words idea several years ago. It was too hard. I got too confused. So why am I offering three words this year? Because these aren’t three words. They are a way of life.
walk. in. love.
The phrase shows up in a letter Paul wrote to a group of people he loved very much. He had spent three years as their pastor. He worked hard, teaching in large groups and small. He says that he was in tears while teaching sometimes, caring so much for these people.
In this letter, he wanted to remind them of how to live. He could have offered himself as a model, like bloggers and teachers talk about their own experiences as illustrations of what to do and not to do.
But in the letter to the Ephesians, Paul offers a different example for living, a compelling role model. He points them to the person he is trying to follow.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I talked the other day about giving up the word “prepare“. I realized that I need to stop focusing on preparing to live and start living. I won’t stop learning. Or stop preparing others. But one day in the shower, I thought “live”. That same day, a friend and I were talking and he directed me to this excerpt from Paul’s letter. Some translations say “live a life of love”, but a better understanding is “walk.”
I’m hesitant, mind you, to talk about love. Love and God are a volatile mixture in conversation. But maybe I can help. Even as I am helped this year as I follow this path.
Walk. In. Love.