“…and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Eph. 5:2)
This verse explains the previous one where we were told to imitate God. When imitating God one will find himself walking in love. Can’t copy God and leave love out because God is love. God so loved that he gave up Jesus and Jesus so loved that he gave himself up.
This shows up in our attitude and actions with others. Love, hate, and indifference begat different responses. Can’t imitate God and live a life of hate. Can’t be God-like and be indifferent to others. God knows only one response to his creation, and that is love. Of all the things God is capable of, love is the one he chooses to be 100% of the time with his people.
Our efforts to love others show up as fragrant incense before God. Good deeds, done with love, are as sweet smelling offerings as far as God is concerned.
For Paul, the faithful saints, have to be loving people. They had received love from God in heaven and from Christ on earth. Since they knew love and what it means why would they not love in return. You can’t love God and Christ back and not love others in advance. We show our love to God and Christ by loving others.
Deeds of kindness (from love) to those who share the world with us are counted as deeds of kindness (from love) to Christ. We get dual recognition for loving kindness. Cups of water refresh our earthly friends and enemies, they do us good, and they are accepted by Jesus as if he was the target.
Walking in love is the greatest way to walk for another reason. It’s mentally healthy. It promotes healthy hearts and minds. Hatred and even indifference have negative effects on our emotional well being. Those two attitudes can change our personality and make it unpleasant for us and those around us. Hate and indifference really don’t need any leavening, they are super influential on their own. What the world needs is more people who care and whose caring promotes positive action.
Task for today: Imitate God and Christ by making all your decisions out of love. Talk to others in love. Share with others in love. Do for others in love. Allow no indifference to penetrate that love. Love your family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. If you have enemies, love them too.