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Concerning watchers and boxes

It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely. Luke 14:1

I don’t think they can help themselves. People bound up with a “religious spirit” seem to be compelled to inspect everyone else’s words, behaviors, worldview, clothing, spirituality, you-name-it—and have no qualms displaying open offense if the object of their inspection deviates in any way from their pre-set, tightly-clenched perspective. In fact, these folks frequently search high and low for even the slightest offense.

If you think your job is to coerce others to toe your line and use snubbery, open put-downs, whisper campaigns, smear blitzes, or even physical force to do so, there’s a good chance you’ve picked up a good old-fashioned religious spirit.

The intended outcome of such “watching” is to squeeze the “watchee” into a box of the watcher’s choosing. I’ll bet most of you reading this have experienced fervent box construction by those who should have been welcoming, warm, and harbors of refuge for you. Their goal? To to silence you; to label you with their own definitions; to force you to conform to an image of their choosing…whether you want to or not.

Such were the Pharisees in Jesus’ time. Only problem was that Jesus didn’t play along. He marched to a different Drummer…the drumbeat of His Father.

You can watch the hand-wringing and scheming of the offended ones who “watched” Jesus throughout the gospels, and every time they set their snare, you can see how unimpressed Jesus was with their traps and faux outrage. In fact, the Father, with whom He maintained constant communion, always gave Jesus words to say and/or unabashed actions that silenced, stymied, or frustrated their best strategies to entrap Him.

You, like Jesus, also have a link up with the Father by which you can access His wisdom and direction every time you encounter the inevitable box-builders in your life. Trust Him to deliver you from those snares; He has a custom-made strategy for every trap; and He will download it to you just for the asking.

However, one thing you must do in your determination to be free of imposed boxes—don’t impose boxes of your own making upon others.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1, NKJV


© 2019, Dorothy Frick