What Comes First — Walk Or Worth?


(Thank you, Ann Voskamp, for such a powerful quote!)

I just read the verse Ephesians 4:1 yesterday, and I pondered the significance of the wording of that verse.

Ephesians 4:1

Walk in Unity

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

I kept thinking about the “walk” part.  I hear two very separate camps of thought on the “walk” part when it comes to a lot of churches.

One side seems to place a lot of emphasis on “walking” right.  They focus on the “shoulds” and “should nots”.

The other side focuses on a concept of “love” and “grace” that seems to promote an idea that love and grace means there is no “wrong” only “right”.

In other words, you can’t be against anything unless it’s to be against those who are against something.

Back to the verse in Ephesians though.  If there are verses that tell us how to walk, then I knew that there is a place for considering the Christian “walk.”

I have seen the negatives of religion, where emphasis is placed more on actions rather than the heart.  In those circles, it seems that Ephesians 4:1 is being interpreted to mean, how I walk equals my worth — my spiritual worth.

The power behind this verse is reading clearly what it says.  It says “walk worthy of the calling…”  This verse is saying we walk in a way that fits our calling and worth.

It seems like we need to start first with our worth and calling before we can understand how to walk.

So what is our worth and calling?

Ephesians 1:18

18 the eyes of your understanding[a] being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 1:14

14 who[a] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Galatians 3:26

Sons and Heirs

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

James 2:5

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

So what is our worth and calling?  It’s that we are sons and daughters of the Most High God!!!  It means we are beloved sons and daughters!!!!  It means we are heirs of the heavenly kingdom.  It means we bring glory to God.  And that is just a very small tip of the iceberg.

Some of us are still stuck back at the walk and worthy part.  Somehow, we still think that we have to be worthy of something, and that’s what the “worthy” part means.  So, we “walk” as best as we can, and our life is one big struggle with staying upright, walking, walking efficiently, walking elegantly, walking boldly.  We have manuals about how to “walk”.  We have become so obsessed with the walking part that we judge ourselves and everyone else’s worth by the way we walk.

We have falsely equated walk to equal worth.

I understand that I have great worth in God because of who I am, based on Whose I am — Who He is.  Knowing Who God is and what He is like should affect me.

My life should be lived out, according to the worth I have in Christ.  Because I have great worth in Him, I live in a way that says, “I am a beloved daughter of the Most High God!”

An analogy might be seeing a princess live like she is a beggar when she can have whatever she wants.  In other words, why choose to live in “spiritual poverty” when you have been given a rich inheritance in Christ, as His sons and daughters?

The “fruits” part of our spiritual life is the manifestation of our relationship — not the equivalent of it.

When we love someone, we will want to do things that honors that person.  We will sometimes yield our own preferences to honor their preferences in order to please that person.  Why?  Because we love them, and love always desires relationship.

Grace does not keep us imprisoned to our sins.  It frees us from them.

Jesus did not just die to make us a better image of what we were.  He died to transform us into an image like Himself.  That’s the power of the cross!  It’s His life, His character produced within us.

I believe our “walk” part is very similar to a dance.  God invites us to participate in this amazing and fulfilling dance of life.  God takes the lead, sets the rhythm, and choreographs the steps.  We then are given the opportunity to surrender to His lead and follow His steps or to stumble across the dance floor on our own, trying to get our steps and rhythm right, when we don’t even know the dance.

The choice we have is whether we will surrender to Him and glide across the dance floor of life in the arms of the One Who sweetly whispers in our ear, “Beloved.”

Today, let’s glide…




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