Yesterday the Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy, issued a prescription for the poor state of American health: a brisk walk.
It is estimated that half of American citizens are suffering from some chronic disease, and two-thirds are overweight, yet only half of Americans get the recommended amount of physical activity. Murthy wants the USA to make walking a priority.
“I’m asking for individuals and communities across America to reclaim the culture of physical activity that we once had,” said Murthy, who released a “call to action” on walking Wednesday.
I, too, believe we can improve our health by walking. Norma Jean and I walk several times a week. However, I’m more concerned about a”walk” that is absolutely necessary for spiritual health.
The Bible speaks of the word “walk” in a figurative fashion. It means a manner of living. A course of conduct. A path of behavior. The Greek verb peripateo, rendered “walk” in the English Bible.
The word is composed of two roots, peri (around), and pateo (walk). Literally, to “walk around.” Figuratively, it denotes the sphere of one’s existence, his manner of life. It can be used negatively (for evil), or positively (denoting a realm of righteousness).
The book of Ephesians offers 7 ways we can improve our Christian walk.
(1) Walk a Different Walk (Eph 2:2)
Becoming a Christian requires a new way of walking. Living. Acting. Behaving. It means giving up worldly lusts. Fleshly desires. And sinful cravings. We’ve set our sights on a different course.
(2) Walk in Good works (Eph 2:10).
Recently we wrote about this verse and how much God values us. He created us in Christ. He saved us to serve. He called us for good works. God’s work. This walk regulates our life.
(3) Walk in Unity (Eph 4:1-16)
This is a worthy walk based on our calling. Its attitude is rooted in humility, gentleness and patience. It’s based on the unity of the spirit and the oneness of Christian principles–one God, one Lord, one Holy Spirit, one Faith, one Baptism, one Body, and one Hope.
(4) Walk in Purity (Eph 4:17-32)
Sexual impurity and unbridled lust characterized the heathen world. Their darkend life was founded in futility, fueled by sensual indulgence, and finalized in insensitivity, callousness, and moral degradation.
The Christian walk is a total opposite. It is based upon a knowledge of God, motivated by righteousness and results in holiness, honesty, honor, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.
(5) Walk in Love (Eph 5:2)
Love is where our walk begins and ends. Love of God. Love of fellow-man. Love of family. Love of brethren. Love of the lost. Love is the stepping stone of our values and all other virtues. The entirety of the Christian walk is characterized by divine love.
(6) Walk in Light (Eph 5:8)
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” Jn 8:12). Jesus is the light. He dispels the world’s darkness. Illuminates our path. Lights the way. And enlightens us on our journey.
(7) Walk in Wisdom (Eph 5:15-17)
This walk is described as circumspect. It means to walk carefully. With caution. Exactness. And accuracy. Our walk is not haphazard, chaotic or careless. It is purposeful. Precise. And focused.
The surgeon general is right. Walking is necessary to good health. I recommend it. But while you’re exercising give some thought to your Christian walk. Spiritual exercise will profit you both in this life and the life that is come.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman