I have a fence around the yard at my house. This isn’t it but maybe your fence looks like this. Ours isn’t very high, but it tells me where I can build things, or not build things. It also keeps my wife from mowing my neighbor’s lawn, which is good for her. She likes to mow the grass but not more than she has to. It also lets my dog know that she doesn’t have to bark at anything beyond the fence. She does anyway, but at least she knows when there is an invasion. This fence tells me and my wife and my dog where our little tiny space is in this great big world. It tells us our boundaries. Boundaries for us and boundaries for the outside world as well. I don’t have a “no trespassing” sign up, but if I did, I would be telling the world that this is the boundary you may not cross unless you are invited.
We all have boundaries. We all need boundaries. Without boundaries, we will have a world that resembles something like “Escape from New York” where everyone is only out for themselves and there is no peace, no safety. Boundaries gives us limits, both to how far we may wander and also who we let into our lives.
Boundaries are lines that limit our activities in any area of our life. If we are smart we will allow God to draw our lines and create our boundaries, for they will be perfect and there will be no flaws, no unused places where things don’t fit. And these boundaries will work in all the areas of our life, the physical, emotional, mental and most importantly, spiritual.
You might only think of your boundaries as being in the physical realm, but that is far from the totality of boundaries. For if we do not have boundaries in all the other areas as well, we will soon discover that we have no stability in any area of our life and we cannot function in any area because of it. Boundaries help to create stability.
Emotional boundaries are extremely important to us to be able to have relationships with one another. No one wants to hang out with people who are pushed to the limits of any emotion. Think about it. Would you want to be around someone who is always angry, or always weeping and sad, Or even those who are happy and laughing. All emotions are good but when those emotions are pushed to the limits of always being present or show up at unexpected or inappropriate times, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
You may have known someone who has or had an extreme mental condition. Perhaps they were so traumatized or devastated by some event that it just overwhelmed their mental ability to cope and they had a mental breakdown or have become very fragile in the mental state. They have been pushed mentally beyond their boundaries.
We all are most aware of our own physical boundaries, what we can and cannot do. Some of us are not and that’s how we hurt ourselves in various ways. As we get older, if we survive ourselves, then we learn. Sometimes we learn too late and have regrets. Many athletes suffer very difficult ends because of the way they abused their bodies. They exceeded the boundaries that were there for their own protection and must endure now the results of that excess.
I hate to say it, but that is fairly true of nearly any excess we may utilize in the course of our lives. If we experiment with our emotional stability, our mental abilities, or our spiritual functions, we will regret it and it is possible that we will possess that regret for eternity. But if we discover God we have the opportunity to enter into the cocoon, the place of learning. It will seem like a happy place because it is not where you were. But it is only the first stage. That is not the happy place God wants for you. Neither in the future nor now. Because in the cocoon, we still hold onto the past. It is still part of us. We are in a place where we have not fully understood God’s plan for us, but we are learning His ways. They are different than our ways and we must fully lose our old ways in order to understand His desire for our life.
When we are able to let go of that which we are unable to change, (the past) we will begin to move towards His perfect will for each of us. Everyone who comes to Him has something for which they need forgiveness, some pain that is in need of healing, or some reason that they are racked with guilt. It’s merely exceeding our boundary, the boundary God had set, not only for you, but sometimes for all of mankind.
When we do things that offend Him our spirit will react…that is unless our spirit has no hope, for our hope is found in holiness towards the Lord. That just means chasing God, loving Him with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. That means letting go of the past because the past will not let you love anyone but your self, It will not allow you any joy. God’s wish for you is that you are joyous and to gain and maintain that joy we must instead of living in the past, live in eternity. Eternity begins today. We must exit the cocoon at some point and become that for which we are intended. It is God’s desire that we discover who we are in Christ. There is no past, for the King of heaven has wiped out your past. If He is willing to forgive you and to help you get past all that you were in order to become a brand new creation….what are you waiting for?
Allow Him to create that new creature. When we remain within the scope of the boundaries set by God, and refined by Jesus, we will live mature and godly lives that are bereft of the nature of man. We will not hold onto the old man at all, we will grasp what Paul meant when he said in 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. NKJV
This is the cocoon no more, this is the butterfly that has escaped the boundaries that were known by man, but now are living within the boundaries set by God for us which enable us to be totally free within the limits of love.
That just means that we are free to do anything that both shows the love of God for both Him and His children…who just happen to be all other human beings. It doesn’t matter what these other human beings do to us, we are to offer them love, that is the boundary expressed by Jesus when He hung on a cross for the sin I committed and asked His Father to forgive those who put Him there. At that moment in time He settled how far we are to go in forgiving others. We should not await an apology to forgive someone who has done wrong to you for that is not love. If you are waiting for someone to apologize to you before you forgive them, then pride is what keeps you from forgiveness. And pride will not allow you entrance into heaven. There is no pride in the presence of God. That is why you will not be forgiven unless you forgive all others who have caused you pain. Pride is an awful sin in the eyes of God….It is also why humility is one of God’s greatest attributes. Jesus was humility in its purest form. He lived what He said. And what He said you could trust…you still can.
You are able to begin today to live within the boundaries of love. Just keep your eyes upon Jesus!