God’s love has no “boundaries.” No conditions. No limits. No restrictions. No margins.
Here’s something: That Happy Day Moment Facebook Page post received 1400% more attention that any post to date.
Seriously. One thousand four hundred percent. Because of one word: boundaries.
A thought: Include “boundaries” in your post and see what happens.
I get it. Really, I do.
Boundaries of safety are crucial. Boundaries against danger. Boundaries of morality. Boundaries against co-dependency. Boundaries to protect.
But perhaps we pitch that word too carelessly over everything.
You hear “boundary” everywhere these days. And often we make it mean something it doesn’t. We throw it around when what we really mean is “I don’t care” or “I don’t have time” or “You hurt my feelings. Or “You don’t agree with me. You don’t respect me. You’re a little weird.”
So much “me”; so much “I.”
But sometimes our selfishness and self-absorption make it easy to twist the concept of boundaries into a practice God didn’t intend.
Setting boundaries can feed on the inherent self-focus of the human heart and we end up renaming our selfishness as “boundaries.” The rigid boundaries become walls.
As we think about all this boundaries stuff, let love cover us.
Let’s err on the side of mercy. Let’s open gates …
Of grace. Of unmerited favor.
We all have difficult people in our lives, yet God calls us to love them well. To do this, maybe we ought to make all a majority of decisions based on what will best promote the other person’s spiritual and eternal good. And not so much on establishing boundaries.
Maybe walk in their shoes for awhile.
Maybe treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to us – not because they are nice, but because we are.
Maybe treat everyone with the same level of respect we would give to our grandfather and the same level of patience we would have with our baby brother. People will notice our kindness.
God’s love has no “boundaries.”
Maybe make decisions by asking: What would Jesus do?
I’m reminded of one of my favorite novels, In His Steps by Charles Monroe Sheldon. When I was in the hospital after a diving accident which left me a quadriplegic, my Mom often read to me since I was unable to hold a book in my hands. A friend suggested In His Steps. It touched a chord with me then, and still does today. First published in 1896, it’s the story of the Rev. Henry Maxwell, pastor of the First Church of Raymond, who challenges his congregation to not do anything for a whole year without first asking: “What Would Jesus Do?”
One Sunday morning he said: “Do not do anything without first asking, ‘What would Jesus do?’” This challenge is the theme of the novel and the driving force of the plot, which then follows individual characters as their lives are transformed by the challenge. [And ask any church youth group teen of the 1990s about their WWJD bracelet!]
So maybe in determining boundaries, why not use What Would Jesus Do as the benchmark?
God’s love has no “boundaries.”
God asks us to love others without limits or borders.
“renaming our selfishness,” how accurate! Thanks for your beautiful post.