How’s Your Purple?
One of the novelties my wife and I have observed living in Texas is how the color purple is used here to indicate “no trespassing.” Perhaps you’ve seen it? Apparently, if you have purple paint applied to trees or fencing along your property, in the proper configuration, you’ve adequately warned others that no access is allowed into your property. (source)
If I owned property here, I would likely be tempted to put a bit of purple up myself. It would make sense for me to make sure that the wrong people weren’t allowed entry into my personal space. On the other hand, as a Christian, it would also be wrong of me to put so much “purple” in my life and property that the right people are denied access. The Apostle Paul exhorts us in Colossians chapter 3 to “Put on then…compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” he also tells us to bear with one another, forgive one another, and to put on love which brings perfect unity. It is pretty hard to follow these instructions from Paul when we’ve excluded all of the people from our lives. Conversely, I am also tempted to paint everything purple where my sin is concerned, as Paul also exhorts us to, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry…” In both circumstances, the putting on and the putting to death, as Christians, we have to live this out in community. For this reason, we should all examine our purple. I encourage you to examine the “purple” that you’ve placed around your personal life and see where the legitimate use of boundaries may have had the unintended consequence of becoming a wall that keeps people out.
Paul Tripp says that “God is calling you to intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven redemptive relationships.” (source) This idea of intentionally intrusive relationships is a bit of a nightmare for many of us who are introverted or just really private people. Many Christians, and most especially those of us in ministry leadership positions, react to those in the faith who are overly intrusive by simply “spraying more purple” on the fences in our lives in the hopes of finally being able to have some peace and privacy. The problem is that our moldy flesh tends to prosper in our private lives when the fresh air of fellowship and the sunlight of loving Christian accountability is missing.
I wonder, have you painted so much purple in the public facing side of your life that you aren’t allowing the body of Christ to minister to you? Is there real accountability in your life? One area where all of this is so painfully true is in the area of sexual purity. For this reason, Better Days is offering an online cohort for Christian men specifically focused on this idea of sexual purity. We want to explore biblically informed ways to pursue lifelong purity and sexual fidelity together in this cohort, beginning in August. You can find out more about the cohort here. Please consider if this might be one area where you need to remove some of the purple “no trespassing” paint that you’ve posted in your heart and allow God’s Word and God’s people to minister to you. If there are other areas where you have posted too many “no trespassing” signs in your life and you need a safe space to evaluate your accountability or maybe just to confess ongoing struggles in your life, please reach out to us. BetterDays would love to be there for you and help you find the right balance in being accountable while also cultivating fertile spaces for your personal and family life in ministry.
Dave, along with his wife Marinajo, serve as counselors for BetterDays. Dave has served in many different capacities in church ministry including as a church elder, bible study teacher, and as part of the set-up and sound crew. He has worked a combined sixteen years in full time missions in Mississippi, Honduras, and Puerto Rico. Dave has also served in short term missions as a counselor and trainer to missionaries in Kenya and as a member of Samaritan’s Purse’s Disaster Assistance Relief Team in Ukraine. Dave has worked in many high stress and high conflict ministry environments where he has developed a heart for ministry marriages and families.