Fences Aren't Commandments

In Jerry Bridge's book, 'Transforming Grace', he talks in one of the chapters about some of the fences we have been convicted to build and not cross. For me that's not eating out a lot (so as not to allow the taste of food to again become an idol and find myself in gluttony again. And also because I don't want to ruin good workouts;) ). Another one is not listening to secular music too often (because that tends to become an idol as well).

I have a few fences that I've judged others for crossing.

I thought if someone didn't do what I did, they were in the wrong not me. I put myself in the place reserved for God and deemed myself a judge.

Be on guard against that, Christian. Fences aren't commandments. God may have told you not to do something specifically, but that doesn't mean He told your best friend not to do (or to do) the same thing.

So, as I've been convicted and my eyes have been opened I want to share with you a few of the fences that I've judged others for (wrongly!) that are in fact, completely okay as long as they're done to the glory of God.

1. When should you spend time with God? Yeah, believe it or not I used to judge people for not spending their time with God in the mornings. I thought every "good" Christian spent time with God in the morning. But as my lovely Sunday school teacher so eloquently put it, "it's not about when you do it that matters, but about whether you're doing it at a time where you can shut up long enough to hear from the Lord." Do I need to say more?

2. Should Christians listen to secular music? I've been around a few people who think if a Christian listens to secular music then he or she is not really a Christian. I disagree with that completely. What we're actually doing when we say (or think) things like that is focusing more on the actions than on the heart behind them. If your heart is set to glorifying God in all you do then you are going to seek to glorify God in all that you do. That means you're not listening to music that glorifies having sex outside of marriage or drinking and doing drugs because that doesn't please or honor God. You're going to want to listen to music that pleases the Lord.

C.S. Lewis said, "All that is not eternal is eternally useless."

So, let's stop focusing on the outward issues so much and start focusing more on the heart behind those actions. Let's stop seeking our ways so often and start seeking His.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:18


  1. Great work as always! I wanted to say a few things about music. I guess this could apply to all forms of art. First I have a hard time labeling music secular or christian. I think music is music, and it consists of either truth, lies, or both. I think as you mature as a believer you are more able to pick out these. God showed me how important brothers and sisters in Christ are through a song that most would deem secular and many would refuse to listen to. I think once we understand that God created everything thus their is truth in all aspects of life our world view must broaden. Lets take for example The Band Perry's song "Better Dig Two". You can find the truth in that yes we were designed to love our spouse until the end, but we can also pick out the idolatry in that if that person is taken from us we deem life not worth living. I wont babble on but I think Christians are only hurting themselves when they narrow they ways in which God can show them glimpses of truth. Like you said Tara, that doesn't mean indulging in music or art that explicitly dis honors God. Ask yourself this when you take in art. Can I thank God for this? Just my two cents.

    1. Yes, yes, yes! I completely agree with you. I especially like what you said about finding truth in ALL things. Thanks for your comment! Blessings.


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