An exasperated mother sent her naughty son to his room to discipline him. He stormed up to his room and defiantly hid under the bed. When the boy’s father got home, he went up to check on his wayward son. He entered the room but did not see the little guy. He wandered around the room for a moment and then looked under the bed. When he looked under the bed, he saw a couple of eyes looking out from under the bed. Then he heard his son’s voice: “Hi, Daddy. Is Mommy trying to get you, too?”
At times one hesitates to reprove or admonish evil-doers, either because one seeks a more favorable moment or fears the rebuke might make them worse, and further, discourage weak brethren from seeking to lead a good and holy life, or turn them aside from the faith. In such circumstances forbearance is not prompted by selfish considerations but by well advised charity. What is reprehensible, however, is that while leading good lives themselves and abhorring those of wicked men, some, fearing to offend, shut their eyes to evil deeds instead of condemning them and pointing out their malice.
We find the old saying is true, “It is better to build boys than to repair men.” Boundaries define us! In the physical world, boundaries are easy to see. Fences, hedges, signage, manicured lawns, walls, alligators, etc. They all give the same message, “this is where my property begins and ends.”
In our spiritual lives, boundaries are just as real, but often harder to see.
However, your spiritual boundaries define your soul. (Prov 4:23) Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Thomas Paine wrote, “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” The whole reason that God gave the Ten Commandments was to help us establish our boundaries. Boundaries help us to distinguish our property so that we can take care of it. We need to keep things that will nurture us inside our fences. We need to keep things that will harm us outside. In short, boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out.
When God established the one boundary for Adam and Eve, it was for their good. When the Israelites re-entered the promised land, they were to eliminate certain nations of people and some they were to allow to be their slaves. The reason was to establish boundaries. The nations to be destroyed would influence the Israelites to worship other gods.
A young man sitting in my office, shared how his life was in ruin. Ever since he was a teen, he had been very promiscuous. Sex with so many that he couldn’t even remember some of their names, problems with drugs and he had even been arrested for D.U.I. We talked about his total disregard for boundaries. It was a home where no one went to Church. He said, “My parents never once said anything about sex or drugs.” The need for boundaries!
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Joyce Jones is a renowned concert organist and teacher at Baylor University. Several years ago she played the first full concert on the new pipe organ at the Crystal Cathedral in California, which cost over $1 million. At the age of sixteen she was a piano major at the University of Texas. A sprained wrist interrupted her promising career as a pianist. For six weeks she could not touch a keyboard. Not wanting to waste the time, she decided to learn to play organ pedals with her feet, and a new career was born. “God has a way,” she relates, “to get your attention and say, ‘Hey, I have something better for you to do.'”
Whatever our lot in life, build something on it. God has a master plan for our lives. Our spiritual journey is to find that plan for our lives.