Tearing Down the Walls #2:
“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).
Yesterday we started looking at how one of the wonderful blessings available to us as Christians is the opportunity to experience fellowship with one another. There are so many people who don’t experience this in their lives, but rather feel alone, lonely or isolated, even within God’s family. This is because people walls around their lives and hearts, in an attempt to protect themselves. If we want to get connected with one another in deep and meaningful relationships, then we need to recognize what those bricks are in our wall that keep other people out, and tear down the walls! The first two bricks are past hurts and low self-esteem. When we find healing and wholeness in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can remove those two bricks from our wall. Here are two more bricks that keep us from getting connected…
You might say, “Well, I haven’t experienced any past hurts or broken trust, and I don’t struggle with low self-esteem, so I don’t really have any walls around me keeping me from connecting with other people.” Well, what about distractions or busyness? This is one that I can relate to. I can’t tell you how many times that I have gotten so busy and distracted in my life. Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I have had wrong priorities, and have thought that any event or project or program is more important than getting connected in meaningful relationships with people. If we can go through a whole day so totally focused and concentrated on our tasks or duties—whether it’s a job, schoolwork, chores, sports, music lessons, or whatever, but fail to connect with at least one other person in a real and meaningful way, I think we’ve mixed up our priorities. Like Mary, we need to learn to sit at the feet of Jesus just for the sake of spending time with Him, and not be distracted with our daily duties. We need to learn to just sit and chat with one another as well. Is your schedule too busy for time with people? Then it’s time to simplify.
Brick #4—Negative Actions or Sins:
Another brick in our walls that can keep us from connecting with one another is negative actions or sins. With past hurts or broken trust, we might be dealing with our feelings about how someone else has treated us. But with negative actions or sins, we are dealing with the choices we make as to how we treat others. The Bible says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:29-32). When we choose to lie or gossip or call people names, we are unconsciously building a wall around ourselves and pushing others away from us. It may just be in fun, but the damage is still done to that other person, and they will have a hard time trusting us. God’s Word gives us the solution to this: choose to speak only encouraging words that will build people up. Be kind to one another, love one another, and forgive one another.
The Lord said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” God has created us with an intense need and desire to have close and intimate friendships with one another, but this will never happen until we are willing to tear down the walls that have kept us from getting connected with one another. Let’s take our past hurts and broken trust to Jesus, and let Him heal our broken hearts. Let’s overcome our low self-esteem by seeing ourselves in Christ Jesus—accepted in the beloved. Let’s stop being so busy and distracted that we don’t have time for people. And let’s set aside all negative actions and sins that would hurt other people. Let’s make a decision today to tear down those walls and get connected with one another…in Jesus’ name.
Pastor Chris Jordan