Forgive Us Our Trespasses (#812)
Have you ever been the victim of religious trespassing, where someone is trying to force something on you for your own good? Have you ever done it to someone else? Most of us have. It is the nature of religion to trespass on people's lives thinking it will create an opportunity for God to make himself known. More times than not it backfires. The life of Jesus is always an invitation, never an imposition. In this episode, Wayne and Kyle respond to a listener's email about what protocols they use to navigate varying expressions of the body of Christ to avoid being manipulated. They talk about trusting their yuck meters and learning to live inside the freedom God has brought to them. Forcing ourselves on people is the opposite spirit of the life of his kingdom.
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This recent podcast, #812, spoke to me so much. It never occurred to me that I could set boundaries with certain church things that made me uncomfortable. I deeply connected with the trespassing narrative. Thank you for giving me better language and tools to understand what is happening in my life and spirit.
You’re welcome. I’m glad to hear it was helpful to you. Trespassing is a common occurrence among religious people and allowing it is often confused with submissiveness and humility. If people were taught to follow Father’s leading then we wouldn’t trespass on each other and we just might learn what real humility is about. Live freely, noticing what you need to notice, question what you need to question and feel free to say “No thank you” whenever you find yourself being controlled.
Wayne and Kyle, we have been so blest to have found the God Journey several years ago. We have read several of your books, beginning with “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore”. It came at just the right time when we were “ falling” out of our church that we had gone to for 40 years and raised our family in. A terrible sad and hurtful time. That book was an amazing open door to not feeling guilty about dropping out of attending an institution anymore.
Many God Journey podcasts later, …and so many insights received ….This morning’s podcast, “No Trespassing”, was Another affirmation from God that He is right here with us on our journey. We together had received the exact inspiration several months ago when talking about the Lord’s Prayer and asking forgiveness for our trespasses. For the first time we saw it differently than ever before. Praying to not trespass on someone’s life, someone’s outlook, where we aren’t invited. We shared that with friends who were also blest by that view.
Then this morning before we even opened our email and saw the title of the podcast, I was asking the Lord if He would show us if we were at all connected to what He is doing today with believers all over the world. A wonderful confirmation that He is certainly working in our hearts along with many others came, when you talked about “trespassing”!
Thankyou Wayne, Thankyou Kyle and Thankyou Lord!
Isn’t that awesome. I love when God does that, confirms in so many ways what he wants us to see and live in. Thanks for sharing.
Wow, thank you so much for sharing the link for Rebekah’s story. Definitely will be chewing on that perspective. I love her insight into discerning what needs people really have rather than assuming we already know… how it can be about me instead of about the person. This also reminds me of the ways I’ve presumed that I know what Jesus wants, expects, or needs from me in a moment, based on my religious principles and experience. This causes me to feel pressured to do something, and I either do it to appease the feeling or I walk away with guilt, wondering if I’ve disobeyed Him (and thinking if I really loved Him or that person, then I would have done xyz). However, it seems like there is a place in freedom and friendship with Him where I could ask what He wants, really hear, and then just BE as His friend, without the sense of pressure and/or failure. I seek but haven’t fully found the rhythm of that place yet; He and I are still sorting that out. Thank you for this podcast! Wonderful to be reinforced in the permission to be led by His Spirit in mine rather than by fear of what others will think.
Wayne and Kyle – great podcast, excellent topic.
Kyle’s comment “trained to trespass” really stuck out for me.
My past is full of instances where I felt really uncomfortable with the concerted efforts in our church to evangelize, evangelism techniques, and what I even would call bullying or shaming into “becoming effective witnesses”.
As a person who was severely bullied growing up and dealt with self hatred for many years. The last thing I really wanted to do was put myself in a place where I could be criticized or persecuted further – even for Jesus. Of course, I was also at a place where I was not able to say no, so I did as I was told, and ended up suffering for it. I felt that what I was personally dealing with did not matter to the church nor was it safe to discuss – the expectation was to conform to certain practices. The result was living in a pattern of hiding and faking it – which created a whole set of other problems.
Of course I translated the yuck meter I was feeling all these years as being something wrong with me. That I somehow I fell short of what Jesus wanted me to do and be. That I was rebellious and selfish. The teaching and demand to be a witness was so forceful at the time, that the residual effects of it still pop up in a variety of condemning thoughts some 40 years later – even though I live in a greater sense of freedom now, and will share my story in the right moment.
As I listened to the podcast today, I was finally able to put into words why my yuck meter was off the charts. And I thank you for that.
Love your comments, and I think most of us share the reality that we were trained to trespass in the name of God’s kingdom, never realizing the damage we were doing to people and the Gospel by manipulating them under the guise of “serving them.” So blessed to have my eyes opened to that.
Religion so easily forgets that the life of the kingdom is an invitation, never an imposition. That’s why Jesus said no one can come to the Father except the Father draws him. It’s not our job to do the drawing; it’s our task to encourage and help instruct those who are hungry for him. That never trespasses. That’s where we get to serve.
I just understood the words “unless the Father draws him” in a completely different light.