Have you ever wondered why there is a rule that says that when you build a fence, the nice part goes toward your neighbor? I’m not sure if this is a real rule – I think it is a rule of courtesy. Nevertheless, when you go to all the work to build a fence, the fancy part faces away from you. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Fences serve many purposes. They keep things out, and they keep our stuff in.
Love does not act unbecomingly, is not rude, or in the Message, “does not force itself on others”. Love understands fences. When my children were very little, I found a mantra that worked: “discipline yourself, or I will have to discipline you for you.”
Love understands the importance of self-discipline. Love values the fences that we build in our lives. They keep us in our own space and help keep other people from overwhelming us. When we walk in love, we value other people more than ourselves – kind of like putting the nice side of the fence out, so that we are beautifying other people’s lives as well as our own.
Whose life are you beautifying today?
Lord, please help me to add value to other people’s lives today. Help me to add beauty, and to recognize the beautiful things in others. Help us each to not be rude or pushy as we walk with people, but to trust that You have our best in mind, and will get us what we need when we need it. As we reach out to others, we also know that you love those we interact with, and are very interested in working in their lives. Help us not to jump fences to fix other people, but to pray and trust You to work mightily in their lives. Help us to walk in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.