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We have the right to protect our jurisdiction but not to impose our values outside of that.

There seems to be a lot of push in this culture for various values to be approved and followed by everyone. But should my life values that I am committed to be imposed on someone else? I think to answer this we must first understand the term jurisdiction. Anyone's jurisdiction is an area that they have full authority, ownership, control, rule and power over. There are very few areas in anyone's life where there is that much ownership and control. Our jurisdictional areas are first, our own life and choices; second, what we have bought, paid for and pay the upkeep on; thirdly, what we have produced or created like our children or work projects. A neighbor doesn't usually fit into these categories. However, if the sewage from his home spills over to your lawn now he has entered your jurisdiction and you have a right to legally require he clean it up and stop the flow over to your land.

In personal values these principles also apply. We have no right to impose our values on another unless they are trespassing in our jurisdiction; in our family, our work area, or our worship choices. If they are trespassing on our constitutional freedoms this is also an area of our jurisdiction given to us by our Founding Fathers.

Ok, so now we know the boundaries. How can we handle trespass? James 1: 19, 20 tells us to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. Ask yourself, "Have I really heard the cry of the heart of this trespasser? Can I choose to put up with being defrauded for a while in order to have a chance to reach their heart?" This focus turns the issue completely around to a servant's attitude. Jesus said in Matthew 20:26-28 that if we want to be greatest of all we must be servant of all as He was. Don't lower your standards, lower your expectations and listen, learn and serve that person until you earn an opening in their heart to be heard on your values. Then you must be sure they really are your values and you know the why and the advantage to your life and the lives of others that these values bring. We have to make sure that our values are not just based on "because my church does it" or "my family has always done it that way." The only solid foundation of values is the principles taught in the "Owner's Manual" (the Bible) about how the "machine" runs best. We don't need to preach or argue those. We need to make sure we are truly living them and then lovingly sharing why we have chosen that path.

We have the right and responsibility to protect our areas of jurisdiction: our home, our children, our worship and our communities. We do not have the right to impose our values on others but must hold the line in the areas of our own jurisdiction.

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