With thousands from across the world wanting to enter the United States, there is quite a bit of discussion about controlling immigration. As a nation of laws, we have previously depended upon those from other countries to respect the rules for entering our country. For those that do not, there are prescribed consequences, such as armed authorities, incarceration and deportation.
The problem has worsened to the point that our southern border has been overwhelmed with those that have no respect for our laws or the border patrol. If this border were much shorter, it would be a problem that could be easily resolved with barriers and guards. It is however, over 1900 miles long with mountains and other challenges to contend with. The President of our country has proposed that we build a wall that would make it much more difficult to enter. It would also enable our border patrol to perform their duties much more efficiently. The cost of construction would be well into the billions, where the uncontrolled access to our country by non-citizens will be devastating to our nation.
So what is the solution to this enormous problem? Non-citizens should respect our laws and we should control our borders. Problem solved! Well, maybe not!
Once, there was a wall of sorts built in a garden. It was in the form of a statement made by the Garden Owner as to which fruit could be eaten. It was a very simple rule that generously allowed all fruit to be consumed with the exception of only one. An invisible line was drawn around a single, beautiful tree and the occupants of the garden were told to refrain from crossing the line. The temptation was more than they could bare, the line was crossed, and the fruit was eaten.
What could possibly have changed the outcome and thus altered the events that would follow? One very simple choice; obedience! But then, what could have been the motivation to cause them to obey? Simply put, love. But the Garden Owner did not force them to love Him. He allowed them to make that choice and they failed miserably.
When examined to its fullest, love is reduced to two primary motivations. These are commitment and respect. These two garden tenders could have chosen to respect the Garden Owner and commit to obey Him. The result of their respect would have been love for Him, manifesting itself in a choice of ongoing obedience.
Here we are now thousands of years later and the trouble of the garden has spread worldwide among every people group that has ever lived. But the cure has not changed. The Garden Owner still demands and deserves respect and a commitment to obedience. In other words, He demands our love, yet in no way does He force us to comply.
In Matthew 22:35, Christ shows us the importance of these principles.
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
When the unruly immigrants get these fundamental truths right, the rule of law will be followed. Meanwhile, we build walls!