We all too often place walls around ourselves. We place walls to keep us separated from the world around us, or from others who are different than we are. We place walls around us to hide our pain, loneliness or what makes us different from others. We are so good at placing walls around us that they make us see the world as those who are within our walls and those who are not.
We separate ourselves into groups using denominational barriers, or socio – economic, cultural or class differences. We in fact spend so much time in building walls that we do not take the time to think, what if we torn down these walls and looked at the world as Christ has taught us.
One example of the power of taking down our walls comes from Philemon, (18:16). Philemon has one of his slaves, Onesimus, imprisoned as he believed his slave had wronged him. While in prison this slave met Paul, who brought him in to faith in Christ. Paul then sent Onesimus back to Philemon with a letter asking him to accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ rather than one of his salves. Philemon had a large choice to make, would he see Onesimus as nothing more than a slave, or, would he see him as something more?
In Christ we are all brothers and sisters, we are all children of the same God, and followers of His Son Jesus. As such we too must make a choice, are we willing to see others, whom we build walls to separate ourselves from, as different. Or shall we be like Philemon and take down our walls and accept each other as Christ has commanded us to do.
It is not an easy thing to take down a wall, one that we may have built many years ago and as we have grown in our lives, we have built the wall stronger and higher. Paul challenges us to see beyond those walls, he compels us to see others not through the narrow sight of our differences, rather, to see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
What will you do with the walls you have built? Will you continue to make them impenetrable? Or will you take them down and see the world in a new light? The light we have been given though our faith in Christ. Allow yourself the opportunity to see what is on the other side of the walls you have, you may be surprised to find out that the people who are looking at you are not as different as you may have thought.
(Our daily bread – September 2017)