Have you built walls?

Dr. Grant MullenChurches and Leadership, I am significant, Live fearlessly, Moods, Relationships, Uncategorized 5 Comments

We think walls protect us

But sometimes they don’t.

They can also create a prison.

We lock ourselves in with the pain we’re trying to avoid.

This week I’m in a walled city.

Click on the video and check out your walls.

To live a transformed life, you need to take down your walls.

Now I want to hear from you

What walls did you have to get rid of? Just leave your comments in the box below.

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Comments 5

  1. Dr. Grant…thank you so much for this resourceful reminder! Someone once shared the lines of a song with me: “The walls that keep the pain out won’t let the love come in.” That line was freshly stirred from your message today. Thank you for finding so many creative ways to resource us all!

  2. I have watched many of your videos, and agree with what you are saying, but can you explain the difference between building emotional walls and putting up a boundary between someone who has hurt you? How do I be comfortable within myself around that person, but still, keep a safe distance emotionally?


  3. Post

    Gillian, that’s a very good point. Boundaries are different from walls in my mind. We all need boundaries to protect ourselves from legitimate threats as you mentioned. If a person continues with abusive behaviour then you must have boundaries to protect yourself. The walls I’m referring to are to keep your distance from many people, not just one who has caused pain.

  4. I think we have many walls up as individuals, as a society and also in the church. I think our roles and positions are sometimes a help or a hindrance. We are creatures of habit, and we tend to like familiarity. We like to be around people who are like us. I feel most comfortable around people (Christians or otherwise) who have a low-income, people with psychiatric problems/mood disorders, and people who have experienced childhood abandonment and/or homelessness. Dr. Mullen, you probably feel most comfortable around your wife, family, and peers (Christian doctors, pastors, counsellors and other professionals). I don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes and you don’t know what it’s like to be in my shoes, therefore it is hard for us to relate to one another. There might be a wall up between us but it’s not intentional. We wouldn’t have much to talk about, because we don’t have much in common. It would be awkward for you to get to know me because you would feel like you need to give me advice – anything to help fix or change me or my situation. I would feel defensive, because you can’t listen to me or accept me without wanting to fix or change me. This in itself can create a wall or barrier.

    One of my jobs is cleaning offices. I know all of the staff by name, including the CEO, and most of them are very nice to me. Sometimes we chat and they share with me what they did on the weekend. They tell me about their trips to the cottage, the vacations they’re planning, the family gatherings, the people they’re going to meet, where they went to eat, where they went to shop. I listen to them and smile politely and I don’t dislike them in any way. Yet there’s an awkwardness because I can’t really relate to them. When they ask about my weekend I try to give an adequate answer. I don’t want to rain on their parade. I try not to wonder what it would be like to be one of them – vibrant, confident, full of life and potential (in their careers, in society’s standards) – because if I think too much about it it really does hurt. I know other people’s happiness and success shouldn’t cause me pain. I remind myself that I have value in God’s eyes regardless of my job or level of income. These are walls that exist everywhere. It’s a part of our social fabric. It’s hard when church is similar and you can’t find respite. I’m thankful for grace.

  5. Leslie and Gillian you would both enjoy reading “Boundaries” by Henry McCloud. Letting people (both those who love us and those who have hurt us) know where we stand and what behaviours we will and won’t tolerate is practicing “healthy boundaries”. Keeping healthy, caring people at arms length or burning bridges in our fear of being rejected, is only going to cause us more pain. At some point, we want to take the risk and let people in once we can see that they have our best interests at heart. Only then, can we have the awesome, deep and meaningful relationships we crave.

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