Perhaps you’ve heard the expression,
“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.”
People put up fences for a lot of different reasons.
They can go up out of prudence and wisdom, like a parent not allowing a child to date until they reach a certain age. These kinds of fences should be respected.
They can go up out of mindless tradition, ignorance, arrogance, selfishness, and dysfunction. Segregation is one such example. “Separate but equal” was a fence worth tearing down.
And of course, they can go up due to a combination of both.
Seeing fences correctly requires discernment:
Is this a beneficial fence? If so, is it in need of repair? Was it beneficial once but has now become outdated and irrelevant?
Is this a harmful fence? If so, was it constructed to keep people out, in, or both? What damage is it doing?
Is this fence a mixture of both? What’s good about it? What’s bad about it?
And let’s not forget, Who built this fence? How should their role or position impact me?
Then, we need discernment on if or how we should respond:
Should I help to rebuild? Should I help to demolish? Should I jump inside the fence, or stay outside of it? What is my role here exactly?
What fences are you encountering in your life right now? How do you view them? What will you do with them?
Sometimes there aren’t easy answers. I’m currently up against a fence that has elements of both good and bad. I’ll be praying for wisdom.