Walk in a manner
By Cindy Goding
Today as we were walking into church, my two youngest grabbed each other’s hands. They were walking together, laughing, running, and sometimes pulling each other along. The entire time, they kept chattering back and forth. My youngest speaking babble talk and my older encouraging him to “keep walking, be careful, come on, and even- move faster!”. I was very amused watching them when it suddenly struck me.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Watching them walk together was a physical representation of these verses. First, because they were literally pushing each other’s buttons in the car right before they got out, and yet, when it was important that they care for each other, they put that all aside and bonded together. They weren’t concerned over who had said the last word, who was able to be first, who wasn’t, who was stronger, better, faster, slower, younger, or older. They grabbed hands like they were instructed and helped each other across the parking lot. At times, it was necessary for my older son to gently push his younger brother to move more quickly and to pay better attention because he was causing them to slow down or to stumble. But my older son never yelled, he didn’t let go of his brother’s hand in frustration and storm ahead. And my younger son didn’t pout and cross his arms, wanting to do it on “his own”. They recognized the importance and value of being together, of linking arms and walking together. They had fun, they were laughing, they were talking, they were building relationship. They didn’t focus on each other’s weaknesses but rather used each other’s strengths as encouragement and motivation.
That is how God wants us to interact with each other. He wants us to literally link hands and be on this journey together with him. We are to build one another up, we are to encourage each other, we are to use God’s word to admonish and teach each other. We are to sanctify each other. How? By maintaining a posture of humility. Understanding that there are times we are going to want to blaze ahead, but that means leaving others behind. That we may feel frustrated, but instead of letting their hands go, how can we build each other up instead of tearing down the body of Christ? We need to realize that we can have FUN together while on this journey of faith. That we can laugh together, cry together, and jump over obstacles together! We are not meant to do this alone, we are meant to find community, build into community, and use that community to strengthen our knowledge of who God is and how he loves us. If we truly love our neighbor, we will grab hands and walk together despite our own thoughts and opinions because we have the bond of love for Jesus that is stronger than anything and will never break us. We will link hands and walk together because God has called us to bear with one another in love and walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.