Falling and walking
February 18, 2022, 12:21 PM

Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

During my freshman year of high school, I got to experience a first, I went ice skating at the Houston Galleria. It was the it place and the thing to do in  Houston at the time. So when my family took a trip to Houston we had to do it. There was only one small (okay..big) problem: I didn't know how to skate. My feet had grown accustomed to remaining on solid ground, not a sheet of hard ice, while tied laces cut off circulation. 

So on wobbly legs, with a vice grip on the rink's edge, I shimmied my way out on the ice and instantly tumbled. If the Chinese Olympic judges were watching my performance that first time, there would be no shenanigans; they’d be well in their right to rate my performance as a 0.01. The first few times you skate, it won't be graceful, elegant, or agile, but rather awkward, unnatural, and clumsy. You're going to fall and fall and fall; we all fall. The same truth holds with our attempts to "walk in the way of love." 

Reflecting Christ's heart in our relationships is undoubtedly foreign and counter-cultural, not coming naturally to any of us. However, a willingness to practice is the only way for the ways of God's Kingdom to become less foreign and more natural to us. Being intentional doesn't mean our relational expression isn't authentic; it's just not normal yet, and that is okay. 

We are made new and being made new. Declaring Him as Savior instantly changes our identity, but it begins the process of learning, recognizing, and living from it. One relationship defines all others. More than anything else, our relationship with Christ should shape how we interact, relate, and respond to the world around us. 

Embracing this call and saying farewell to our old self entails developing new relational skills. Before the subversive and pervasive presence of the Gospel takes root in the world around us, it must first begin its work within our hearts. - this requires intentionality on our part. In essence, we've got to put on our skates, hit the rink, and extend ourselves grace when we slip, slide, and fall. We also offer grace to others. 

The messiness of doing life with flawed individuals is part of being human. It comes with the territory of relationships. Loving others isn't easy and requires persistence, endurance, and grit. For redemption to define our connections, we must bear with one another in love over and over again. When someone falls, we lovingly extend them a hand, pick them up and encourage them to try again. We all need a bit of support in our quests to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. Where do you need to display faith and "walk in the way of love," even when done imperfectly?

Prayer: Father God, You extend Your hand time and time again when I fall. During those moments when I fall short, You don't berate me. Instead, You show me grace, forgiveness, and love. You are the God of second chances, and I pray I would display this type of compassion in my relationships. Help me to love others in the ways You love me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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