Don’t Fence Me In

A year or two before I was born a song was written that was sung by many and made famous by Roy Rogers, the Singing Cowboy. If you are not familiar with the song – click here for a copy of it recorded by Bing Crosby …    https://youtu.be/vMnLoOnrwbg

I was particularly struck by the title that has stuck with me for decades …”Don’t Fence Me In.” As I was recently reading 2 Corinthians 6:12-13 in The Message version again this phrase caught my attention …

We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”

And, if you search a little bit you will find that a former prime minister of Israel is quoted as saying: “Life is too short to be little.” (Benjamin Disraeli)

As believers we should feel confident in the love that God has shown us in His Son Jesus. And this confidence in His love, acceptance, and forgiveness should be the foundation upon which we build and live life. And, this life should be wide open and vulnerable because we have experienced and know the love of God. We should live transparent and be open and vulnerable; living without fear of criticism and rejection. As Paul states, “If God is for us (and He is), then what does it matter who is against us.” 

So, I can live fearlessly not allowing fear to fence me in. I can override past disappointments so they do not prevent me from obtaining today’s possibilities. I can see over the fence and realize that everything is working together for my good. I can refuse to be petty and insist that I look for the good in everything and ever one. Not being fenced in allows me to embrace the people who love me, stick with me, encourage me, and are there for me. I am reminded that these relationships are priceless and are the result of pressing in to people, believing in people, loving people, taking risks in relationships, and being open to the possibility of friendship and relationship. None of which happens when I am fenced in by my past, by shame, by fear or by __________________ (you fill in the blank). 

When I take the time and make the effort to remove my fences, without exception I always look back with gratitude that I did so. Regardless of how things turn out, I always feel a sense of fulfillment knowing that I gave it my best and didn’t play it safe staying behind the fence and wearing a mask (refusing to be the real me before others). This allows me, as well, to keep living in the confidence that God provides through His promises and presence in my life.

Living outside the fence in the fullness of who we are releases us to bless others. It allows you to give yourself permission to speak up, to help out, to take you to new places of faith and confidence that you have never experienced before because you lived life behind the fence – fenced in by your insecurities, past experiences, the pain you have encountered, and the failures and rejection you have experienced. Now you are free of the fences and can become aware of your untapped possibilities, untrained talent, and underdeveloped strengths. 

So, listen again, to Paul’s words…

We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”

Grab hold of the truths…

      • No one has fenced you in – if there are fences it is because you built them
      • God does not build fences to contain and control you
      • If you are living ‘small’ it is because you choose to (it comes from within)
      • Your were not made to be small or insignificant – you are not small as a person but you have chosen to ‘live small’
      • You have a choice to open your life and live fully being vulnerable and transparent
      • If you chose to live freely then it means you live openly and expansively

Time to remove the fences and make “Don’t Fence Me In” your theme song for this season in your life.