Tearing Down the Walls #1:
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).
One of the wonderful blessings that is made available to us as Christians is the opportunity to experience fellowship with one another. What is fellowship? It comes from a Greek word, koinonia, that means association, community, communion, joint participation, intimacy. It is a word that speaks of a very close and warm friendship that two people share with one another, that first comes through having a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Is this not the longing within the heart of every one of us? Why is it then that there are so many people who don’t experience this, who feel alone, lonely or isolated, even within God’s family? I believe there are many reasons, all of which have caused us to build walls around ourselves, to keep people from getting close to us.
The song Waves of Grace describes this best in its first verse, where it says, “The walls are high, the walls are strong. I’ve been locked in this castle that I’ve built for far too long.” Today, I want us to take a look at some of the ‘bricks’ that we put in our walls, and look at how we can tear down the walls that keep us from getting connected with one another in deep and meaningful relationships.
Brick #1—Past Hurts or Broken Trust:
Sometimes, because people have hurt us or broken our trust in the past, we build a wall around ourselves to try to protect us from getting hurt again. I can relate to this one because many years ago, I had a prayer partner that I really looked up to and respected in the Lord. One time, I confessed to him something that I was struggling with, and asked him to pray with me that the Lord would give me the victory in that area, and he did. However, within a couple of months, he came back to me and confessed that he had shared that information with someone else, another person that I did not trust, and would have never wanted to have that information. Because of that, I could have built a wall around myself and made a decision to not be real with other people, but that would have robbed me of some wonderful fellowship that I have experienced with other people since then.
Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted.” If you’ve experienced past hurts or broken hearts, then take those burdens to the Lord, for He heals broken hearts.
Brick #2—Low Self-esteem:
Another reason people will build a wall around themselves is because of a low self-esteem. Because they think that no one would like them if they knew what they were really like, they wear masks, and try to be a people-pleaser, doing whatever it takes to fit in. They give into peer pressure, going along with the crowd, just to be liked, but knowing deep down on the inside that they’re not being real. If you struggle with low self-esteem, then it’s time to start renewing your mind to what God says about who you are in Christ. It takes a bold step of faith to be real, but openness and honesty makes for a more rewarding friendships.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at two more bricks that we add to our walls and hinder ourselves from getting connected with one another in deep and meaningful relationships. In the meantime, let me challenge you to search your own heart and see if there are any other things in your life that have been hindering you from making caring connections with other people.
The Bible says, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2). As Simone Well said: “The love of our neighbour in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him: What are you going through?” Let’s tear down the walls in our lives that have kept us locked away from others, and get connected.
Pastor Chris Jordan