PO Box 239, Pratt, KS 67124

The Problem With Fences

Our place has over 4 miles of fences. 2-1/2 miles of that define the lines between us and our neighbors. Another 1-1/2 miles is cross fences. Then more make up the lots and pens and around the barnyard. All of course, serve as ways to keep livestock managed.

We have fences in life too. Borders we should not cross. Laws, rules and the documents and signs to declare them.

There is something in the heart of man however, that resists fences. The old cowboy song said,

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, Don’t fence me in. 

Let me ride through the wide open country that I love, Don’t fence me in.

In a similar theme, a much newer song talked of signs,

Signs Signs Everywhere there’s signs

Messing up the scenery Breaking my mind

Do this, don’t do that Can’t you read the sign

Fences, rules, laws and signs are needed in our culture, businesses and personal lives. There is a simple word that describes one who will not comply with them.


Many of you deal with criminals on a regular basis. They break through the fences to seek their selfish desires. An old cop once said, “every crime is a theft of some sort. A criminal takes what is not his to take.”

When I say there is something in our hearts that resists fences, I am not talking about criminal actions. I’m talking about those things in our lives (like by-laws of an organization) that are used by some to manage a man.

There is life-giving management and restrictive management. Some cannot understand the difference, but it is significant. In attempting to rule others by letter of the law, the rulers will eventually step into their own traps.

You cannot build restrictive rules of governance around a visionary. There must be accountability, but that accountability is not to follow the lock, stock and barrel of a cold process. The letter of the law.

Think About it

2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (NIV).

The 18th verse is interesting in The Message version: “And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.”

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