For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love (Rom. 14:15 ESV)
The verse above will most likely pierce through most of our hearts as it shows us a very subtle reality about the walk of love. The Apostle Paul was teaching about foods. Some believers in the early Church believed they could eat anything while others did not. The conclusion was that the kingdom of God is not about meat or drink. The choice of food carries no spiritual implication with God. Eating or not eating certain foods neither makes us better or worse before God. However, he gives us a clause to clarify this truth.
He says if you eat what makes your brother or sister in Christ grieved or shakes their faith or discourages them, then you are no longer walking in love. He teaches us then that the walk of love is not just about your walk and convictions but the effect of your life on others. Yes, you might be correct. Yes, you might be justified in what you are doing. But what is the effect of your actions on others?
The walk of love is a manner of life that refreshes, blesses, edifies, encourages or makes other people’s lives better. Have you ever heard someone says “it does not matter what others think, what matters is that my heart is pure before God.” The truth is that it depends, and it sometimes matters. The walk of love edifies people around you, especially the brethren. Honestly, just like the example of food above, what we wear does not make us better or worse before God. But what is the effect of your dressing on others? Does it matter? Yes, it does. The walk of love does not cause others to stumble but improves their lives. Our motives might be as clean as a heavenly crystal, but if the effects of our words or actions are destroying or ruining the lives of others, then it is no longer a walk of love. We have been called to walk in love.
Can you think of just four characteristics of love mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13? ( The love chapter)
APPLY THE WORD
Love considers other people. The heart of selfishness is self-centeredness! The exaltation of self-gratification is an archenemy of love. Start thinking about the wellbeing of others, even at the expense of your own happiness. I know this will contrary to what our culture today teaches. If Jesus focused on His happiness, we will all be heading to hell. Before you say that next word, take that next step, put on that dress, turn on that TV, write that social media comment, etc., think of the other person. If they are not going to be encouraged, built-up or strengthened, please do not do it! Walk in love!
Ask the Spirit of the Lord to help you grow in your walk of love