“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” —Eph. 4:1
Paul gives us an enormous challenge. He challenges us, just as he challenged the Ephesians, to walk worthy of our calling.
As Paul used the words, “walk” means the way we live or behave; “worthy” means “appropriately.” Walking worthy, then, means living in a way that is fitting for a Christian. Following Christ means much more than wearing the title of “Christian,” more than showing up for church services, more than believing that He is God’s Son. Paul told us that being a Christian should change the way we act every single day.
Now, ask yourself the same question that each of the Ephesians had to answer:“am I walking worthy?” It is easy to glaze over the answer, but we have to be brutally honest with ourselves. You are the only one who can answer this question about your life, and only I know the answer about mine. We have to look beyond the surface level to ensure that we are imitating Christ as best we can; as the writer of Hebrews warned, “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1). If we aren’t choosing to walk worthy, we are walking away!
Students on campus know that I am “a speech path” because I wear the characteristic black, OSU-logoed scrubs. How do the students in our classes, our coworkers, the people in our communities know that we are Christians? We don’t need uniforms to show others that we follow Christ; our lives should proclaim our faith. The way we live should clearly and constantly reflect our relationship with Christ. Every aspect of our lives—the way we dress, speak, act, spend our free time—should reflect our desire to please Him.
As I begin grad school, I recognize that I have enormous opportunities: I can choose to reflect Christ, or to focus on blending in. I can decide to balance my time and focus between school and my spiritual life, or I can bury myself under a mountain of paperwork and textbook reading. If I choose to act on the second options, am I truly walking worthy? James warned us that our actions are a vital part of our Christian lives: “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (Jas. 2:17-18). If I am truly committed to walking worthy, I must make a conscious, devoted choice and then act on it. Living a truly Christ-centered life requires both a decision and follow-through.
Sometimes showing others Christ is a direct conversation, and other times it is simply an example we set. But either way, walking worthy is always both a choice and a challenge. Our lives will not reflect Christ by accident. The decision is yours: accept the challenge of walking worthy, or drift away.