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Boundaries Are Not Enough to Prevent Sin

Once a man planted a garden and was delighted when shoots emerged. Every day he watered and weeded, and his garden grew until he was ecstatic to see plants bearing produce. However, a few days later, he went to his garden and was dismayed. Every plant showed evidence of hungry rodents and rabbits that had raided his crop. So he decided to erect a fence.

A few days later, the man again went to his garden and saw the same thing. So he put up another fence, another, and another. Every time he checked, he found vermin had raided the garden. Finally he realized critters could go over, through, or under each fence. So he built a brick wall with a deep concrete foundation.

Weeks later, he climbed the garden wall and was horrified to find it was choked with weeds. The ground was cracked, the plants wilted, and worst of all, his crop gone. Trusting in the wall’s protection, he had forgotten to tend the garden. He failed to realize the wall was blocking the sun’s rays. He also completely overlooked the greatest threat to his garden: the animals that had been inside all along.

How many Christian leaders trust in similar walls? Our carefully built boundaries erected to protect us from threats to our moral well-being, to our relationships, or simply to manage our time? Just relying on rigid systems won't work. They may even lead us right into the sin we’re hoping to avoid.

We already have boundaries in God’s law. God’s law is good but cannot save us. If those boundaries are not enough to transform us, why do we believe our own rules will be enough to decrease our desire to sin?

Possible Preaching Angles: Accountability; Legalism; Holy Spirit; Sanctification; Word of God – Boundaries can be of some help but they will not reform us or deal with sin. The most effective protections are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, the daily intake of God’s Word, and open accountability with fellow Christians.

Amy Simpson, “When Moral Boundaries Become Incubators for Sin,” CT Pastors (March, 2019)

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