Barriers can cause a lot of pain and rejection in someone’s life. Often out of our own pain and rejection we feel a barrier is needed. Why would we allow ourself to be vulnerable again? Why would we allow someone to hurt us again?
Barriers are designed to block people out of our life.
It is done so with the desire to protect and guard our hearts. This is probably the easiest thing to do when life gets painful or confusing. Boundaries are different. Boundaries offer protection but they don’t cause for the other person to be discarded from your life.
The key to living within boundaries is to have understanding and be willing to let go.
If we are willing to let go of whatever it is we are afraid of, or whatever we desire more than God, then the reality that we may lose this particular person or thing won’t affect us as much. Therefore if this person treats us poorly then it wouldn’t matter so much.
I think often times we put up barriers towards God and others, rather than boundaries. I think we do it because we don’t trust Him, other people, and we don’t trust our self. Being vulnerable means we might be tempted or life may not turn out the way we had hoped and dreamed. So we put up this barrier that makes it so difficult for God to work in our life. What we try to communicate to Him comes out controlling and demanding, and whatever He tries to communicate to us appears to be scary and confusing.
But through boundaries we learn to live in a world that is full of temptation, disappointment, and rejection.
Through our understanding of others we are able empathize with the hurt that they may be feeling. When they offend us it doesn’t seem so personal anymore. Through boundaries we are able to live free from the guilt and shame that we may feel when we are tempted. I think simply understanding that temptation will always be apart of our life, and when we stop trying to be tempted, then that’s when we can find freedom to live unashamed and find victory over the things we just want to run from. Jesus himself did not run from the temptation, instead with the help of God’s word, He was able to overcome the battle.
Letting go is often a difficult boundary to put up.
I think it’s difficult for us to realize the many things we cling to are the things that are keeping us from finding peace, joy, and freedom from fear.
You see we think the people and the things we hold on to make our life and define who we are and what God created our life to be. But I don’t think this is the case. There is a time and season for everything. Nothing on this earth is meant to last forever.
Relationships grow old and end.
People move out of their houses.
Cars break down.
Life ends with one last breath.
And yet its hard to let go. It’s hard to move forward with the life GOD has already placed before us but we are hung up on all the things we feel we are entitled to. But letting these things go allows us to trust in God more.
Barriers are designed for those who want to control, and boundaries are for those who are willing to let go.
Boundaries requires trust in God alone. But often our lack of trust in God and ourselves will lead to us living behind a barrier.
I think we need to learn how God works and how the enemy works. The enemy desires to make people feel rejected and alone. God desires to make us feel accepted and in fellowship with one another.
Boundaries are difficult to live in because there is nothing physically stopping us from crossing that line, the line that could very well lead to death and sin. But God doesn’t place barriers in our lives, people do. He didn’t place a barrier in the garden around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, instead he placed a boundary and said do not cross this line. We decided to cross that line.
Living inside a boundary takes a deeper understanding of other people and of God.
If we are going to live within boundaries then we need to remain committed to building our relationship with God.
The truth is barriers hurt, they hurt a lot.
A lot of times where God places a boundary, people place barriers. You can see the goal God has for you, but you are unable to access it because of a barrier someone else has placed before you. But the thing with God is He can still work in YOUR life even though there are barriers placed before you by someone else. The key is to not get distracted by trying to break down a barrier built up by the another person, we cannot tear down the walls, only God can do that. So as we live inside a box designed by other people we can wait patiently for God to wrestle with their hearts, and in the mean time He will help us to flourish in the gifts He has given us.
Recently I had decided to stop pounding on a barrier that was placed before me.
All I know is that barriers hurt, and I do not believe in them at all. I believe that God can guide us along the narrow path without us having to live within a barrier. But often times people place a barrier up because they are afraid, or they don’t trust themselves, or because it’s the easiest thing to do.
But God never intended for us to live this way. He desires for us to live freely in His grace.
So as I decided that pounding on these barriers was not for me, my heart was heavy and I experienced a little fear myself. But I asked those around me to pray for God to open up new doors. To my surprise, God just opened my eyes to the things He has already placed in my heart and in my life, things that HE desires to use me through. He DID open up new doors, or maybe I was just moving forward in what He had already set before me.
Barriers ARE distractions, but only when you are trying to break them down. Only God can break down the barriers and only God can make it possible for us to live in the freedom of His grace through BOUNDARIES.
No matter what Christmas was for us in the past, it seems like every year it has the opportunity, and the possibility, to be something completely different and brand new. That’s what Jesus brought with Him as He was born into this world; He brought with Him a clean slate, a fresh start, and something brand new to our lives and to our faith.
Today I invite you to come and take this imperfect advent journey with me to discover the beauty of the good and perfect gifts God has given us through His Son Jesus. Let us journey together to discover what those gifts are, how we can receive those gifts, and most importantly the importance of being a good steward of those gifts.