Examining boundaries, barricades and bumps we set
February 8, 2011
Last month we looked at the boundaries, barricades and bumps that come along in life. We discovered that these obstacles can be for our good, or can block our progress. Often it is our responses to them that decide the direction. This month, let’s examine some of the boundaries, barricades and bumps that we set. Are they necessary? Are they of nay benefit? A boundary makes a statement. It says, “don’t come any closer.” Do you have boundaries? Actually, subconsciously you do. Here’s proof: when you are talking one-on-one, face-to-face with someone, how close do you allow their face to get to yours before you become uncomfortable? Most Americans do not want you any closer than 28 inches from the front or 16 inches from behind. I’m told the people of India allow a distance much closer. Either way, there is a boundary. Why? Pastor Vic is not qualified to answer that; you’d have to ask a sociologist. However, we are not interested in the “why,” but rather the “what do we do with it” question.
We want our boundaries respected. That is why we sometimes set up barricades or at the very least, bumps. While a boundary says “Don’t come any closer,” a barricade says, “don’t you dare come any closer.” Sometimes barricades are good and indeed necessary. An alcoholic trying dry out might steer clear of drinking friends, especially those who encourage old habits. On the other hand, people who have been betrayed by those they thought were friends, might put up barriers that keep everyone out. They are afraid to trust. This is a normal human reaction and in the beginning is appropriate. However, as time moves on, one needs to lower the barriers. Keep the boundaries, but lower the barricades. Why? Very simple. You are no longer keeping other out, you are keeping yourself in. Put another way, your barricades have become your prison. No longer are they walls of protection, they are walls of confinement and you are the inmate.
Boundaries are good; we all need to set them. Speed bumps are also good. They tell someone too close to “slow down.” Barricades are all right as long as we control them, not having them control us. How then, does one set barricades that are positive and beneficial? How can we keep them from becoming our prison bars? First, you might need to seek a Pastor and ask for his council. He can either advise you or make a recommendation as to who to see. The bottom line will be to rebuild trust. Trust is an easy word to say, but can be hard to do, especially if you have been hurt or betrayed. Begin trusting again in small increments. A little here, then a little more and so on. Does that guarantee you will never be hurt again? Of course not. However, you will not be imprisoned by doubt and distrust. You can refuse to let it happen. It is a choice. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call. My contact information can be found at the end of this article.
— Victor Cooper is Pastor at the Friendship Harmony Baptist Church, meeting at the Flamingo Bay Clubhouse every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. the clubhouse is located at the corner of Curlew Drive and Stringfellow Road in St. James City. For more information, you may call 283-8331. be sure to follow Pastor Vic’s weekly blog called Monday Morning With Pastor vic. It can be found at preachercooper.com