I Walk The Line
County music singer Johnny Cash had a hit song titled “I Walk the line” in which he sang about how he had to walk the line in his relationship to keep the woman that he loved from leaving him. One of the verses of the song states, “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time, I keep the ends out for the tie that binds because your mine, I walk the line.” Cash presents some great truths in this song when it comes to the responsibility of living life in a manner that will strengthen and maintain a relationship instead of putting it in danger.
The metaphor of “the walk” is often used to depict how one lives their life. Cash used it to represent maintaining one’s character of life in order to maintain a human relationship. The Bible often uses that metaphor as well. The apostle Paul mentioned the Christian’s walk several times, especially in the book of Ephesians. In Ephesians chapters four and five, Paul points out the “walks” of life that Christians should avoid and then explains the walk (or manner of life) that all Christians should strive for. Johnny Cash’s classic song dealt with a man’s walk having influence on a romantic relationship, where Paul’s admonition speaks of a much greater truth; the relationship between God and man. Let’s examine how Paul says we as Christians should, and should not, “walk” through this life as servants of God.
1. Ephesians 4:17-24. Paul warns of returning to the way we were before we became Christians. He stated, “that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind…being alienated from the life of God” (Eph. 4:17,18). He goes on to say later that we should “put on the new man” (Eph. 4:24). Once we begin our Christian walk, we must leave our old way of life behind us.
2. Ephesians 5:15-18. Paul tells us the need to walk “circumspectly, not as fools but as wise” (Eph. 5:15). Johnny Cash stated in his song that he “kept his eyes wide open all the time”. Cash was basically saying what Paul meant when he said to walk “circumspectly.” We must constantly be on guard in our life using the wisdom that God provides, and not that of the world. A fool will constantly be trapped and tempted by the ways of the world, but the Christian is to “understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17), and conform his or her life to it.
3. Ephesians 5:2-7. Paul tells us that we must “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given himself for us” (Eph. 5:2). He then goes on to contrast how walking in love means we will abandon the many selfish sins that will keep us from inheriting the kingdom of Christ. Walking in love shows our obedience to God (John 14:15), as opposed to being “partakers” with “the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6,7).
4. Ephesians 5:8-14. Paul tells us that we must walk as “children of Light” (Eph. 5:8). We know that “God is light, and in Him is not darkness at all” (John 1:5). We know that we are to “walk in the light as He (Christ) is in the light” (1 John 1:7), so God will continue to forgive us. Paul takes it a bit further and tells us that we are to walk as light to expose the darkness of the world around us. He said, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11). Remember, Jesus said “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
Let’s be sure to ask ourselves if we are walking the line for Christ in our lives! -Ed