Everyone who lives in this fallen world has known hurt, to a greater or lesser degree. Often, we respond to hurt by closing our hearts, in hopes of avoiding future hurt. We build a wall. The problem is that, when we do this, we must either keep everyone out or we must begin walking in judgement, deciding who is safe to allow behind our impenetrable fortress. Walls are all about self-protection.
But God has a better way…. He desires to be our protection, our fortress. Instead of walls of self-protection, He builds around us boundaries of His protection. He heals our wounds and dismantles the strongholds attached to them, showing us that our heavenly Father loves us and is strong enough to keep us safe. In that place of trust, we are free to open our hearts and to receive from imperfect people, knowing that God is our source, that He knows what we need, and that He can use anyone He chooses.
As a child (either natural or spiritual), we often respond sinfully to hurts by judging, retaliating, protecting ourselves or becoming offended or bitter. It is the expected response of a child, which is why Jesus warns us of the severity of offending “one of these little ones.” Once our hearts are defiled with these things, even from long ago, all we can do is be honest with ourselves and with God, releasing it in the safety of His healing presence and allowing Him to purge, to cleanse and to restore. Then, as we mature, He holds us to the higher standard of not allowing this defilement inside our souls in the first place, “turning the other cheek.”
Walls or boundaries.. we all must choose. But God’s sheltering wings are better, as we learn to live with an open heart… as He teaches us how to love.