Are you building walls or bridges?

This is not it.

This is not it.

Here’s one way you know you are following Jesus: When everyone else is building walls, you are building bridges.

It makes you stand out especially now, if you are a bridge-builder, when a strong spirit of isolationism and protectionism is sweeping the country and the world. Fear is causing people to want to strengthen their walls and pull themselves further and further in.

Wake up; the world is changing. It’s not safe anymore. So? Who said it was going to be? Certainly Jesus didn’t. He prayed that we might be protected from the evil one, but He never said anything about being safe. In fact, He promised His disciples that it was going to get worse, and they were going to suffer for His sake. So I would put aside any thoughts that life is going to look anything like a Thomas Kinkade painting.

Fear is rampant. It’s the new currency. Political candidates are capitalizing on it; churches are raising money off of it. Christians are using church to hide, not to go out or to welcome in. Christians are building walls when they should be building bridges.

Fear makes you build walls; the gospel makes you build bridges — bridges to strangers, bridges to the unknown, bridges to the poor and homeless, bridges to the sick and dying, bridges to other religions, bridges to atheists, bridges to other cultures and other races, bridges to your next door neighbor, bridges to anywhere instead of staying safe inside your house.

If our calling is to be representatives of the gospel of welcome, how can we be building walls in order to sequester ourselves safely within them? Who are we going to welcome if no one can get in? And how are we going to get out if there are only walls around us?

Jesus gave us one command before he left. Only one thing He told us. He told us to go. Go into all the world. Go into all the world and make disciples. Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. That is a massive undertaking and it is entirely inconsistent with the current trend toward separation and isolation. How can you go anywhere with walls around you, and no bridges to get there?

Here’s one way you know you are following Jesus. When everyone else is building walls, you are building bridges.

I like what one of our supporters wrote me after hearing Tuesday night’s BlogTalkRadio show. “Build bridges. See what Jesus does with that bridge.”

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10 Responses to Are you building walls or bridges?

  1. Hard to find any walls throughout history that really served anyone well…

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    Dear Pastor John another very good Catch today and TY 4 it too. You stated a few times regarding: “Fear is rampant. It’s the new currency.” and “Fear makes you build walls;..” Can i please add something I learned in Amway yrs ago when I was so scared to pick-up the phone to call someone to ask if their interested in making more Time & money?

    A good friend told me something i believe relates to today’s topic: (and state, or wrote here before) FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.
    PS and I’ll add give it to God, he can handle it! Also don’t tell God how big your problems are – Tell your problems how big your God is! 🙂

  3. David Brown says:

    Thank you for this excellent post. As with much of Christianity, it’s counter-intuitive but so liberating.

  4. Gary says:

    Frankly speaking, over the years, the Lord has pulled me though so many fearful situations I have encountered, more of my own fault, than attacks from the evil in this world. I’ve settled into a position of personal resolve, that I do not Fear any thing or any one but my Creator. My weakness is in the concern I have for my loved ones, friends and just everyday ordinary folks out there, no matter their race, creed, belief or height. Having served more than 20 years in military service to this country. I believe it was done mostly on certain principles I consider not based on fear but reverence to the struggle of those who have gone before me and to be on guard for other’s welfare. I do know the Lord loves my loved ones, friends and other folks more than I do. I do lift them up to Him each day for His will and glory. You previously mention In another “Catch” that we are humans before we are Christians. Humanity in this world is structured on the “survival of the fittest”. The savagery that humanity has for its self has to be countered with principles and order. Then after the dust settles. Caring and selfless service may follow.

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