Why do we push the boundaries?
So why do we drive close to the cliff edge. Why do we push the boundaries? In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul talks about those who “Test Christ.”
Whilst the Corinthians saw this as a sign of their maturity and spiritual strength, I think it’s a sign of weakness not strength of doubt not faith.Parents, Sunday Club leaders, etc. are amazing people. They love the children in their care patiently and unconditionally. Deep down, the kids know this. But what do they do? They test you. They push the boundaries. Partly that’s because they want to know what they can get away with and partly I think there’s a desire to prove whether or not you really do love them. Sometimes you sense that youngsters almost want the test to fail, they want to push the boundary to breaking point especially if they believe that they are unlovable.
We can do this in church life, pushing the boundaries with others, seeing how far we can stretch their patience. Wondering when they will snap. Am I really loved, do I really belong? I think we do it with God at times as well. In fact, going back to the garden of Eden, that’s one of the root causes of sin. Adam and Eve are tempted to believe that God does not really love him and so they test him. The Israelites in the wilderness test God because they lose faith. They don’t believe he has their best interests at heart. They think he has led them into the wilderness to die.
So what’s the antidote to this? Well, I think there are a few things.
- Look around (present grace). We need the encouragement, fellowship and support of other believers. Don’t get isolated from them. Don’t get isolated from your church family either by getting out of the habit of coming together for worship ro by only having contact on Sundays. Part of present grace is what is sometimes called “The means of grace” communion and baptism as reminders of God’s grace to us.
- Look backwards (past grace). Remember what God has done for you and for his people in the past. That’s why personal testimony is a great help. That’s why it’s important to spend time in Scripture.
- Look forwards (Future Grace). God has kept his promises in the past and he will keep his promises in the future. Present trials are temporary. We have eternity with Christ to look forward to.