Invading Boundaries


Last week many people were shocked and saddened to hear that Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, sent troops to invade Ukraine. In the Word there are many descriptions of the borders and boundaries of different countries and kingdoms, and there are also descriptions of the importance of respecting people’s boundaries: “You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark.” (Deuteronomy 19:14) “This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not pass beyond this heap to you, and you will not pass beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm.” (Genesis 31:52) “In most ancient times stones were set up on the boundaries between families of nations, to stop them crossing those boundaries to do one another any harm, as with the pillar set up by Laban and Jacob in Genesis 31:52." (Secrets of Heaven 4580)

Not crossing people’s boundaries is an important practice to observe in our natural lives, but it is also an important practice in our spiritual lives. We cross or invade people’s spiritual boundaries when we make judgments about other people’s intentions, beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and experiences. When we do that, it’s as though we are invading their country and telling them that we know better than they do on how to run their own life. So, part of the life of charity involves not invading other people’s spiritual boundaries.

“To judge what the inner mind or soul is like within, thus what a person's spiritual state is and so their fate after death —of this one is not permitted to judge, because it is known to the Lord alone. Nor does the Lord reveal it until after death, in order that everyone may do what they do in freedom, and that good or evil may consequently be from them and so in them, and the person thus live their own life and be their own person to eternity.... A specific judgment —as for example to say, ‘You are of this or that character in your inward qualities, therefore you will be saved or condemned’ —is not allowed.... What mortal person knows who is licentious at heart and who is married at heart? And yet it is the thoughts of the heart, or purposes of the will, which judge everyone.” (Conjugial Love 523)

“From this now proceeds the following conclusion, that one ought not to take the appearances in marriages or the appearances in acts of licentiousness and infer from them of someone that they have conjugial love or not. Therefore, Judge not, that you be not condemned. (Matthew 7:1)” (Conjugial Love 531)

I pray for the peace, safety, and independence of the people of Ukraine. And I pray that I can be reminded to stop invading my own neighbor’s spiritual boundaries, so that I can align myself more closely with the life of heaven.