The psychologist was able to conclude that when children were given boundaries they played in the whole space within that boundary.
Reference: v.17 “Therefore, this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom for your fellow countrymen. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the Lord – ‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.” (NIV Bible)
Explore: Although my study in psychology was a long time ago I still remember one of the studies that was explained in one of my lectures. A psychologist was analysing the area around playgrounds that children would play in. They discovered that if there was a fence around some play equipment the children would use the whole fenced off area. However, if there was no fence around the play equipment, the children would stay closer to the equipment for their free playing activities. The psychologist was able to conclude that when children were given boundaries they played in the whole space within that boundary. However, if there were no physical boundaries present then they would reduce their play area and stick mainly to the equipment provided. The children were found to play in less space when there was no fence present.
Application: When it comes to following God it may look like there are a lot of restrictions. You can’t do this, you shouldn’t do that… There seem to be fences set up at every turn. However, God is like the playground fence, He provides certain limits not to contain us but to provide us safe freedom within the area. The thing about God is that he never locks the gate. We have the choice to stay within the fenced area or not. However, within the fenced area – which is so much larger than what people give God credit for – we have freedom, love and hope. The people in Jerusalem wanted ‘freedom’ and so God gave it to them. They decided that they would make all their own decisions and not stay true to God’s laws and so He freed them, and they were conquered by another nation. God truly desires what is best for us. The wisdom we can gain from the Bible is given to assist us, not to bind us up. The fences in faith are to give us great freedom, not to restrict our lives.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the freedom we have in You. When we trust in You we are no longer bound by the things of this world but we have your grace, love and hope. Amen.
Do you feel restricted by your faith? In which ways does your faith give you freedom?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.