Have you ever noticed how some people are more naturally more standoffish?
I think we all know people who when you see them, they greet you with a warm embrace. But then there are others who are on the other side of the spectrum. Those who are content with a simple handshake or even a fist bump.
I remember doing an exercise where they were trying to demonstrate this point with different personality types. I stood at one end of the room, while another person stood across from me, about twenty feet away.
As the other person started walking slowly towards me, as soon as I felt uncomfortable I was to say “Stop!” Well, as we started, when the person was about 5 feet away I said “Stop!”
Everyone in the room started laughing, because the person who had gone before me, allowed the other person to walk right up to them and give them a hug. But that was not me. I was not interested in getting close to people.
My thought was, if I don’t allow you to get close, then you can’t hurt me. It wasn’t until several years later at a church conference that I realized that it was more than my “personality type” that was keeping me from allowing others into my life. It was fear.
I was afraid of being hurt again.
In an effort to try and prevent anyone else from hurting me, I had put up walls in my life. These were nice thick brick walls, that I had built real high in my mind. So high, that you wouldn’t be able to get in.
What I didn’t know was that while these walls that I had built in my mind were keeping others out; they were also keeping me bound. I had built the walls of my own prison and didn’t even know it.
Once I was confronted about what I had done, I was then faced with the decision of leaving the wall in place or tearing it down. The leader of the conference challenged us to do something that we didn’t like to do. So for me, I didn’t like giving hugs to other people. So I stood up, turned around to a gentleman sitting behind me and asked, “Can I give you a hug?”
I know for some of you that may sound a bit silly, but for me, it was the sound of chains breaking. As I hugged that stranger sitting behind me, and in my mind I saw my hand reaching up, and began to pull down the bricks from the wall I had built one-by-one.
I continued to go from person to person hugging them, crying on their shoulder, and tearing down the walls that had once held me captive.
No longer was I going to be a slave to fear.
How about you? What’s holding you captive? What are you bound to? There are so many things that can hold us captive in our mind, but Christ has come to set the captive free! The price has been paid. We are free!
Now the choice is yours. Will you continue to live as a slave to fear and sin or will you walk in the newness of life that Jesus Christ offers us?