Some people really struggle with this. So they wrote a book about it. Lots of books out there on how to just say no, to have healthy boundaries in place so you don't get hurt, don't give too much, and don't get burn out. Because let's face it people, there are leeches out there. Lost, hurting people that see life in you and they want it. They'll suck the very life out of you so be careful, put up boundaries so you don't get hurt.....RIGHT?
Sounds good, sounds true. God wouldn't want us to pour out to someone who doesn't appreciate it or will take advantage of us or will hurt us. Don't cast your pearls among the swine, right? I know I've thought and believed these things. I've even given advice along these lines. So why is Pappa stirring this up so in my heart lately? Why do I feel Him tugging at some of those borders, boundaries, and personal space bubbles I've erected? Could He have something better in mind? Could He have another, fuller, better, more satisfying way for me to live then for me to guard my heart and home? Let me share some of the questions, and ideas swirling around in my spirit today. Journey with me as I work this out for myself.
What if instead of saying yes or no we inquired? What if we asked Him if He wants us to do something? What if instead of pouring out of ourselves we poured out of Him, and were extension of His heart? What if we never had to fear burning out because there was grace to accomplish whatever He told us to do? What if there was a never-ending supply of resources, peace, love, grace, compassion, consideration, patience, etc.? What if we didn't turn anyone away who was hungry, weary, or hurting even if we didn't agree with what they believe or their actions? I promise you He will never, ever have you turn someone away. That's just not who He is. Even if they've hurt you in the past, even when they've hurt Him, He always hopes. So, what if we were just Love? What if we never had to fear for ourselves or our hearts? What if we never had to be afraid of getting hurt? What if we were so so deep in Him and we so trusted His love, acceptance, and His satisfaction in us that we could be free and vulnerable with people? What if we didn't have to worry if they liked us or about how they might treat us because who they say we are doesn't matter? What if we, like Him, were not afraid of sin?
I'm being reminded of all the walls, and boundaries that I've put into place and every single one that I can think of is there out of fear: fear of being taken advantage of, fear I might be treated badly, fear I might not be heard, fear I might not be seen for who I am, fear that my kids might be hurt or see something I think they shouldn't. And here's a thought about our children: what if who they were created to be was one of our greatest resources? What if who they are is the Part of Pappa He wants to show to someone hurting? What if we could trust Pappa to protect them as well? Every single wall I've raised was put there by me, to protect myself. Never has He instructed me to protect myself ever. Period. Oh and here's a doosie, there are even a couple of walls to protect my Self from my God. Because what if asks me to do something I don't want to do or if He does something I don't understand? What if I can't trust Him.....?
I'm ready for a world, for a Church that throws their concern for "balance" out the window. What does that even mean? "Oh be careful, stay in balance." Well here's the deal folks, everywhere I look the world is so OUT of balance and in wrong direction, and if I can be so bold, all these fears are a major factor. What if the church stopped worrying about getting burn out or getting out of balance or with giving too much that they didn't have anything left for themselves or their family? What if we trusted our Father and go where He says go and give when He says give and trust that He will take care of us and ours? People are hurting and dying out there and I have the tendency to look the other way because what if I get hurt? I ignore the starving and cold man on the street because what if He tries to hurt me or my children? I push off the needy relative or acquaintance because I'm too tired, or have nothing to give, or am too offended by their neediness. But what would this world look like if instead of being afraid we might have to do something, we asked if HE wants to do something? What if my children saw me trusting Pappa and living out His Gospel instead of being consumed with self or fears? What if they saw me loving with a fierce love that could only come from Him? What if I CAN trust Him? What would happen if we did trust Him?
A friend of mine, nah a crazy rock star uncle of mine, shared this on his Facebook status and I had to share.
"Pride cannibalizes awe. When our thoughts drift to how we have been poorly treated, how we are right or deserving of more, or how we will never be good enough, our worship is devoured, eaten up by the Self. We remain under the umbrella of our own authority, recognizing no greater authority and no longer enjoying greater Greatness. There is an antidote to pride, and it is not to think less of ourselves. Instead, we ought to dwell upon the God who did become one of us, who gracefully withstood our scorn and self-adulation. Jesus is the God who, in the face of pride, calls us to the cross. How can we be proud there?"
And can I add, how can we be afraid there?
Do you feel convicted? Is it a holy, righteous fire that fuels that conviction? My heart burns with it now and I've found that it's much better and easier to respond quickly to Him then to wait until that fire has grown cold. Let's be His hands and feet and stopping playing church and Be the church.
Grace and Peace.