Tearing Down Walls & Building Bridges

"We build too many walls and not enough bridges."

Sir Isaac Newton


One of the most natural things that we humans do is protect ourselves from possible dangers. So, we put up six foot privacy fences around our yards, buy multiple and various insurance policies, and add to our savings accounts. These things, in proper measure, are reasonable and prudent. However, there are other things that we do in our natural inclination towards protection that are neither reasonable nor prudent - specifically, when we set out to protect ourselves from those who should be closest to us.


How many times have we had a loved one suggest something that we might could be doing better, but instead of welcoming their suggestions that were bred by love and concern, we immediately throw up walls of protection? In fact, how often do we become defensive against the very things that could improve our lives, simply because we are feeling personally attacked?


I wonder how many marriages have become battle grounds because one spouse suggests that the other might have a drinking problem, or that the other is looking at things on television or the internet that Christians simply shouldn't be looking at? How many times has a close friend had to bring up a difficult subject because they love their friend and are afraid they might be lost? How many times have religious differences become a battleground instead of an opportunity for frank and honest study in an attempt to find what God wants us both to do?


Instead of welcoming the words of concern in these situations, we are much more prone to become defensive (or offensive), and we shut out the very ones who loved us enough to bring up these thorny issues. Then, instead of being grateful that someone loved us enough to warn us of potential danger, we become argumentative and offended.


And we start to build walls.


Not against our enemies, but against those we love the most. 


And we drift apart.


Before we know it, we can't even see our friends anymore because of the very walls we built for our defense, but instead of defending ourselves from danger, we have walled ourselves in with the harmful sin, and have walled ourselves out from the very ones who could have helped us best in escaping from those sins.


If you have had words with a loved one that have resulted in your having built walls of separation, then maybe it is time to tear down those walls and begin building bridges in their place. And, if you have found yourself "walled out" from your Lord and Savior because you did not like the changes that He says are best for you then, for sure, it is time to tear down those walls.


And you won't even have to build a bridge to get back to Him... He has done that for you. It's on the other side of the wall. You simply have to use it!


When he came to his senses he said... "I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son, make me like one of your hired men."

So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him...

the father said... "this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."

So they began to celebrate.

Luke 15:17-24