By human nature, whether realized, we build barriers. People hurt us in ways that cause us to instintively build walls to keep everyone that even remotely reminds us of those experiences. We build them to keep certain people at a safe distance who have proven untrustworthy. In summary, when we feel threatened, we create emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual roadblocks. We put up a “road closed” sign in our minds and hearts, preventing others with the slightest of suspicion from entering our safe space.

As Christ followers, our goal, however, is to remove such barriers and keep as many roads to us open as possible. This requires surrendering to, fully trusting, and allowing the Holy Spirit to move in us, transforming what has long been human nature to His divine nature in us.

A more effective effort is to install boundaries of protection to carefully guard our walk in Christ and obedience to the Kingdom lifestyle of fully living by the Spirit in God’s design and will.

You may ask, what’s the difference between these two, barriers versus boundaries?A barrier is anything keeping progress from being made in a direction we’re working toward. A side effect, among others, is the shrinking of our influence for the Lord. An example that most men can understand is in the game of football. A good offense makes progress by removing barriers, which is exactly why there is a front line between the defense and the quarterback.

Barriers are about us, and our self-imposed protection, formed from traumatic memories. They’re our so-called roadblocks placed to keep another from entering our emotional, mental, physical, and/or spiritual safe space.

Barriers are obviously unhealthy both to us, others, and our walk in Christ.

Boundaries support a healthy alternative that defines our stand to all around us of who we are and our commitment to our relationship with God, set apart by and for Him. Our self-worth is fully in Him.

History has proven mankind has always had dividing lines. Some lines are geographical and other cultural, most invisible and unwritten. Economics, race, politics, religion, education, and language are some things that separate us. We have tendencies to place a focus more on what divides us than unites us. We’re taught at an early age how to disconnect from one another, building tidy categories taught to us by the many factors of our upbringing.

In the Bible, we find the Pharisees and teachers of the Law proving this all too well with their displays of issues with Jesus from the moment He stepped foot inside their territory. Why? Because He crossed their boundaries and blew past their barriers. He would interact with anyone—Jewish or Gentile, male or female, good or bad, rich or poor, religious or heathen. Jesus’ s mindset was very offensive to them because of their dividing lines.

A good verse to show this is Matthew 9:10-13

Matthew 9:9–13 (DARBY)
9: And Jesus, passing on thence, saw a man sitting at the tax-office, called Matthew, and says to him, Follow me. And he rose up and followed him.
10: And it came to pass, as he lay at table in the house, that behold, many tax-gatherers and sinners came and lay at table with Jesus and his disciples.
11: And the Pharisees: seeing it, said to his disciples, Why does your teacher eat with tax-gatherers and sinners?
12: But Jesus: hearing it, said, they that are strong have not need of a physician, but those that are ill.
13: But go and learn what that is—I will have mercy and not sacrifice; for I have not come to call righteous men but sinners.

As followers of Jesus, we commit to walk only where He leads, not walking the tightrope lines drawn by the cultures we live within.

Representing Christ today, we work to add, not subtract; multiply, not divide, so we can bring His message of hope and grace to everyone, anyone ready to hear.

I hope this gives you cause to contemplate any barriers. I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal within you and ask Him to guide you in your efforts to remove them through His power within you.

Then, ask Him to show you how to build healthy boundaries to show all you know and meet your level of commitment towards your walk in Christ Jesus and the perfect will of your Father God. Ask the Lord to use these boundaries as a positive influence, drawing in others a desire to do the same.

God Bless!