7 Practical Steps to Walk Worthy of Your Calling

walk worthy of your calling

As believers in Christ, we’ve been set apart and called for a purpose. We’re called walk worthy of the calling. But what is the calling and how do we walk worthy of it? How do you begin the process of taking up the role that God has created you to inhabit?

What It Means to Walk Worthy of Our Calling

I think the best way to visualize our calling is to think about an established society. Everything always works a certain way and everyone knows what that way is. No one challenges the status quo. Until one day, someone did.

He asked people to think about the way they’d always done things and determine if it was right. Then he showed them a new way to do it and asked them to choose.

When Jesus was born among the Jews, He asked them to challenge their established ways of doing things. This put Him at loggerheads with the scribes and Pharisees who were devoted to keeping the old way.

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When we accept Christ, we immediately join that fight against the status quo. The way the world wants us to do things is in direct opposition to how God wants us to do it and as Christians we have to make a choice.

We are called to come out of the world and away from the world’s way of doing things. We are called into a relationship with God.

7 Practical Steps to Walk Worthy of the Calling
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Understanding the phrase “walk worthy”

The phrase “walk worthy” or “walk worthy of the calling” shows up in a few of Paul’s letters (see Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:12). The word translated as “walk” is the Greek word peripatéō, (pronounced per-ee-pat-eh’-o) and means to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability).

Figuratively, peripatéō means to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary), go, be occupied with, walk (about).

The original Greek word for “worthy” is axíōs, (pronounced ax-ee’-oce) and could have been translated as becometh, after a godly sort, worthily(-thy). It is commonly used in the Bible to mean suitably, worthily, or in a manner worthy of. Right away you begin to see that walking worthy of the calling means that we live in a way that brings glory to God.

Learning to Walk Worthy of the Calling

In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul wrote these words:

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJV).

Those were heavy words. The believers had been doing all kinds of shenanigans and word had gotten back to Paul. This letter was basically a lecture in written form. I can only imagine how they must have squirmed when they heard the admonition to walk worthy of the calling.

If you’ve never read the book of Ephesians (or need a short refresher), this video from Bible Project gives an overview of the book in less than ten minutes.

Here’s the truth, when we accept Jesus’ death on the cross as an atonement for our sins, we’re making a pledge to live in a manner that gives justice to His sacrifice. We’re saying that we understand the price He paid on our behalf and while we are not saved by our behavior or actions, we will live the rest of our lives in a way that gives meaning to His sacrifice.

We choose to walk worthy of the sacrifice that was made on our behalf. Now Paul could have just told them to walk worthy and ended his letter there, but he didn’t. He took it to another level and gave them additional details, guidelines if you will, on what they should do to walk worthy of their calling.

They were to walk worthy with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (emphasis added). Let’s break that down.

How Lowliness Helps You to Walk Worthy

As modern-day Christians, when we hear the word lowly we tend to think of something that’s beneath or lower than something. In this world where we’re taught that she who shouts loudest or has the most followers on social media is somehow better than those who don’t, it’s hard to humble ourselves. So let’s look at what Paul actually meant when he used that word.

The word translated as loneliness in our English Bible is the Greek word tapeinophrosýnē, (pronounced tap-i-nof-ros-oo’-nay).

It is typically used to mean one of the following things:

  • the having of a humble opinion of one’s self
  • a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness
  • modesty, humility, lowliness of mind

Lowliness has little do with our position in relation to others and everything to do with how we think about ourselves in relation to them. As followers of Christ, we are called to humility and modesty.

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How Gentleness Helps You to Walk Worthy

The Oxford Dictionary defines gentleness as the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered. Kindness is greatly underrated in this world, yet people realize that it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other. That’s why we have things like random acts of kindness challenges and a day that focuses on us being kind to each other.

When we are kind, especially in a world that expects otherwise, we are pointing people to our Savior. Jesus treated the people of Jerusalem, even the scribes and Pharisees, with kindness. Now I think if Jesus can do that knowing how some of the people felt about him and how they would treat him–reviling, cursing, and abusing him unto death–we can do the same.

You walk worthy of your calling when you are kind to others, including yourself. Sometimes we forget to treat ourselves with kindness which is a critical element to our ability to walk worthy of the calling.

Learn more about what it means to walk worthy in this free Ephesians Bible study.

How Perseverance Helps You to Walk Worthy

Longsuffering. This word conjures an image of someone who has suffered a very long time but even though she’s tired, she purses her lips and pushes through regardless of how she feels. Okay, so maybe it’s just me.

The Greek word makrothymía (pronounced mak-roth-oo-mee’-ah) paints a much better picture. It speaks of:

  • patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance
  • patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

A person who perseveres is one who remains constant, faithfully doing the things she needs to do regardless of what people think, say, or do. This woman is slow to avenge the wrongs done to her because she remembers that vengeance belongs to God (Deuteronomy 32:35). Beloved, don’t you want to be that woman?

I do.

Because a woman like that is using her influence for good. She may not have a million followers on any social network but she is a positive image of what it means to persevere. She’s a positive image of what it means to be a woman of God.

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How Love Helps You to Walk Worthy

As children, we are taught the chorus,

It’s love, it’s love, it’s love that makes the world go round
It’s love, it’s love, it’s love that makes the world go round
It’s love, it’s love, it’s love that makes the world go round
It’s love that makes the world go round.

I don’t know about you but I love that song and I like to think that if we loved each other as Christ called us to love each other life on Earth would be a whole lot better. The kind of love that song speaks about is not the superficial kind that shows itself only on Valentine’s Day and other holidays, it’s the sacrificial love like that of Jesus when he gave his life for the church. Yet so many people choose self-love over love for each other.

How Unity Helps You to Walk Worthy

As Christians, we are fascinated by the idea of the Pentecost. We marvel about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and look forward to the day when it will be repeated in our time. (At least, we keep hoping it will be repeated in our time.) In the meantime, we study the opening scenes of Acts hoping the find the keep to recreate the Pentecost in our day.

Two key elements keep coming up:

  1. The apostles and followers of Christ were all gathered together in the same place.
  2. They were united in their desires.

The unity of the desires of the apostles was a big deal. The differences they had experienced as they walked with Christ were temporarily forgotten and their purposes were the same–to wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

How Peace Helps You to Walk Worthy

One of the things Christ promised his followers was a peace, unlike anything the world has to offer.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLT).

This peace Christ offers is one that we need every day we’re alive. Because there’s always something trying to stress us out. Wars, threats of war, unemployment, life-threatening diseases…the list goes on.

When we have this peace that Christ offers, we learn to live peaceably with all men. We use soft words, the kind which turns away anger, instead of harsh ones that stir up strife.

As followers of Christ, we have to remember that in Jesus’ greatest tribulation–the moment he was taken in the Garden of Gethsemane he spoke peace to his captors.

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” (John 18:10-11 NKJV)

Walk Worthy Without Fear

After reading this list of all the things you can do to walk worthy of the calling you may feel a bit overwhelmed. How can you live up to the high standards that are set before you? How can you walk worthy of your calling when you’re still struggling to have a consistent quiet time with God?

Well, here’s the best thing about walking worthy…you don’t have to do it alone. Have you ever noticed that when God called people in the Bible and gave them a really big job, he also gave them some encouragement?

That’s because God knows how scared you’ll be to try this new thing. He also knows you can’t do it on your own. So before you go off to walk worthy of your calling, let me remind you of some of the advice God has given those who went before us.

When Moses was apprehensive about facing the Elders and explaining God’s mission, he wanted to know God’s name. This was the response he received:

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’ ” (Exodus 3:14 NKJV).

This was God’s promise that he would be whatever Moses needed to be able to fulfill his mission.

When Joshua had to step in and fill Moses’ very big shoes as leader of the Israelites, this is what God said:

“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7 NKJV).

God reminds us that we have the power to be strong when we depend on his Word.

When Jeremiah was scared to speak out against the people, God gave him this admonition:

Do not be afraid of thir faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD (Jeremiah 1:8 NKJV).



I hope you’re beginning to see the picture–when you and I decide to walk worthy of the calling, God is right there with us. Encouraging us. Imbuing is with his strength. Giving us courage. We choose to walk worthy of the calling but it is God, through the Holy Spirit, who gives us the victory.

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJV).

Go be a light, my friend, walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called. The Holy Spirit will be your guide.

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