Most babies go through a number of stages in learning how to walk. Typically, they start crawling, begin to pull themselves up and learn how to lean on either something stationary or their parents, brother or sister and then finally they can take a few steps before tumbling down.
My kids were different. I remember my daughter especially going from standing up and leaning, to leaning forward enough that she literally starting running before even walking.
There is something to be said about learning how to walk.
The Bible has a lot to say about walking. There are verses on 'walking in the light', 'walking in the Spirit' and 'walking with God'. The Apostle Paul also uses a similar theme and tells us in his epistle to the Colossians that we are to
“walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10)
Just as there are characteristics of a baby learning how to walk, the Apostle Paul tells us there are characteristics in what it means to walk worthy of our calling.
One of the first things that Paul says is that we are to ‘fully please Him” (verse 10). Pleasing God means that we are more interested in pursuing a relationship with God rather than exercising a religion. God is all about relationships as Jesus was actually the most critical of those that were the most religious.
In the same verse we are told that we are to be fruitful in every good work. Good works are a result of our walk and relationship and are not the means by which we please God.
Finally in verse 10, Paul says we are to be increasing in the knowledge of God. Proverbs 1:7 says that the Fear (a healthy respect and reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. When we know God, we naturally want to serve and obey Him out of gratitude.
Next, in verse 11, we are given what I believe is the more difficult task. This worthy walk is with “patience and longsuffering with joy”. I have to admit that for me, patience isn’t on the top of my list of virtues, and 'with joy' would be a stretch. However, this patience is primarily directed at others.
In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul modifies patience as 'bearing with one another': This words that are translated ‘bearing with one another are the Greek words ana and echó that literally means to HOLD THROUGH. The idea is to hang on to each other, not letting the other person leave or being dismissive ourselves.
It's important to note that this idea of walking worthy of our calling is not to say that if we walk worthy THEN God will love us. No, it’s actually the opposite, because God loved us first, we have the capacity to love HIM and walk in a way that is worthy of that love.