The Power of Narratives: Sin & Old Country Fences

fenceWhen I was a kid, we had one of those old country fences around our house. You know those fences that have round wooden posts and old wire? We had that fence around our house for years. One day my dad decided the fence along the road needed to go. So we took it down but hadn’t gotten around to taking down the posts yet. Those posts stayed up for at least a week before we got to taking them down. In the meantime, the dogs in the neighborhood had a history of getting into fights with our dog. Well, when the fence was up they could run at each other and bark and growl and snarl through that fence. But now that the fence was down, we wondered if it might lead to more trouble with the dogs.

A few days in, one of the dogs came running down the road. Our dog saw him and took off down the yard, barking and snarling. They were nose to nose between the posts, standing with an invisible fence between them. That fence had been there so long and the posts were still there…they didn’t realize the fence was gone and there was nothing keeping them from getting to each other. They didn’t touch each other and both walked off. It was pretty funny to watch.

Narratives work like that. The story in their mind was that fence was there just like it always had been. Remove the fence and they still act like it is there. Sin works like that. Often, even once we have received forgiveness through Christ we still act like that old fence is still up between us and God. We don’t always act or feel like we can walk right out of the old ways of doing things into the freedom of Christ. Thankfully, we have a new story to live by that involves the tearing down of any barriers that stand between us and God. Now, let’s live like it and not get consumed by the narratives of the past!


About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

2 Responses to The Power of Narratives: Sin & Old Country Fences

  1. JamesBrett says:

    Great post, Matt. Nothing to add — just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this idea. Keep up the good work on the blog.

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