Focal Passage: Ephesians 5:1-14
We often think love is demonstrated by what we do. This is true in most situations. However, there are ways in which love is demonstrated by what we choose not do.
In Ephesians 5, Paul commands believers to “walk in love.”
In the following verses he illustrates what this means in some interesting ways. He tells Christians that walking in love is to resist sexual sin. Why? Because sexual sin is inherently selfish. Paul tells us to avoid coveting, because coveting is inherently selfish.
He calls upon Christians to avoid filthy speech and crude joking, because they are not loving, they are destructive (Ephesians 5:3-4).
Love, by definition, is other-centered. Thus, it will not be selfish, and it will not be destructive. The evidence that we are in Christ is that we love, and we throw off the impulses of selfishness and the destruction of others (Ephesians 5:5-6).
Before Christ, our lives were marked by selfish and destructive affections instead of true affection, true love (Ephesians 5:7-14). Thus, the believer must regularly ask “Am I walking in love or selfishness? Am I building up or being destructive?”
Think about how this plays out in church life. Are you pursuing your agenda at the expense of the mission Jesus has given us, or at the cost of offending or hurting other believers? Do you engage in gossip, destructive or divisive behavior?
Believers are called to walk in love. Walking in love is often manifested in what we choose not to do. How are you walking?