As a Christian, I often struggle because I am commanded to love everyone, yet I’ve had to put up boundaries for some people in my life to protect myself from physical, emotional, or mental harm. In their book, Boundaries, authors Cloud and Townsend say, “We need to keep things that will nurture us inside our fences and keep things that will harm us outside…Boundaries guard our treasures so that people will not steal them. They keep the pearls inside, and the pigs outside.”
There is another type of harm that is just as important: spiritual harm. I’ve known people who loudly proclaim their Christianity, attend church every week, and portray the role of the faithful citizen. But the person behind the closed door acts very differently from the words they speak.
A friend was describing someone I’d just met and cautioned, “Beware of him. He is the wicked one.” It was strong language, but I encountered it again last night when opening my prayer book to Psalm 36:
I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil;
they commit themselves to a sinful course
and do not reject what is wrong.
Do you have someone who is the wicked one in your life? Place them on the other side of your fences.
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