The buzzword today is "boundaries." These are the limits we set in our personal spaces to define how we interact with others. Is this concept aligned with Christian values? I cannot say no! I believe even the Lord established boundaries, like when He sought solitude to pray. He didn't just engage with everyone at any time. There were boundaries between purity and sin, holiness and profanity, grace and vanity.
In our sinful world, we erect our own boundaries to protect ourselves. Each person sets them according to their internal feelings and experiences.
I recall attending my first lecture on jurisprudence and hearing the phrase, "Your freedom ends where another's rights begin."
This leads me to ponder, where do we draw the line? Physically setting boundaries, like fences around a cottage, always provokes conflicts. I suspect that if human boundaries became visible, discord would ignite like wildfire.
Hence, it's crucial to assess where I place my so-called fence and consider the material it's made of!
Fences are meant to provide protection, right? The most effective ones are tall walls with spikes and barbed wire. Some might even consider adding electricity for extra security. Then, I'm definitely safe. But what about the people on the outside? Those who approach me, seeking help, empathy, or friendship— not war. They would face these boundaries too! And they'd be struck by the electric shock!
Oddly, we rarely discuss this aspect when talking about boundaries. How will I interact with someone from across the border? Do I even want to? Why subject myself to an electric shock or sharp wire? Why venture there at all?
Thus, the outsider remains trapped within their borders, akin to a prison. That's the outcome.
So, what could be the way forward?
In parks, we have fences made of flower bushes. They divide spaces but are pleasant to the eye, enchanting with their blooming beauty, and can be overcome if needed. Perhaps, that's the optimal solution.
No animosity lies within them. No fear. You might argue that I won't be as protected behind bushes. True. Yet, I trade self-defense for God's protection when I follow His Word and treat others with love and tenderness. With care. God speaks of "tenderness" in the New Testament too.
Everything I'm contemplating now is merely theory, a concept in my mind. Yet, I'll attempt to implement it in life. To disarm myself and cultivate a garden with floral borders.
Boundaries are essential, but let us remember that they should not become impenetrable fortresses. Instead, they can be a beautiful, delicate way of engaging with the world around us. Balancing self-preservation and compassion may just be the key to a harmonious existence.