Biblical Boundaries

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Boundaries. They are incredibly important and something we so often slack on. My big goal for 2022 is the creation and implementation of new boundaries. All too often, I have found myself available for anyone at any time. This is a major problem. Why you may ask? Because I am not God and therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to define a line that I will not cross. I am never going to please everyone. I know this, yet I continue to try to meet everyone’s needs. There is nothing wrong with being a need-meeter in and of itself. I’ve always been someone who wanted to help others if I had the ability. The issue resides in meeting the needs of others without taking proper care of myself. Let me provide you with a personal example. For a very long time, I would respond to any work or school message on Sunday mornings. It reached a point where it was unhealthy. In my efforts to people-please, I wouldn’t be able to give my full attention to small groups or sermons. Even if I didn’t text people during church hours, responding directly before things started would cause me to be distracted and dwell on the laundry list of things I needed to accomplish, instead of residing in the presence of God and the beauty of fellowship. Now, I have created a boundary where I do not respond to anything school or work related (unless it is an emergency) before 2:00 on Sunday afternoons.

Creating this boundary has completely changed the game for Sunday morning worship. I am able to dwell in the moment and find rest from the burdens of life during that time. Being disconnected from my responsibilities as a student and teacher, allows me to concentrate on my responsibility as a Christian (which is the most important piece of my identity I will ever have). It has given me the freedom to relax and enjoy my Sunday. I ignore anything that does not require immediate attention. Let me let you in on something, I have discovered that there is rarely anything pressing to come up on Sunday mornings. This boundary has also provided me with a method of sharing my beliefs. I always make the effort to let people that I am in group projects with know my availability. By saying, “I am unavailable on Sundays before two P.M.,” it opens up an avenue for conversation about what is taking place during that time. I don’t offer up the information. I wait until they ask or make a sarcastic comment about why I’m sleeping in so late. 

I’m not here to judge whether you have boundaries or not. But, as a recovering perfectionist and people-pleaser, I am here to say that you do not need to attempt to be everything to everyone. Christians know only Christ can successfully fill the role, but feel a need to try anyway. It’s almost like we try to prove our worth or the value of Christianity in this sense. I am not a better Christian by breaking myself to serve at every event with my grades struggling. I am not a better Christian for staying up all hours of the night working on other people’s parts of a presentation so that everything flows and looks nice. I am not a better Christian for sending preschool parents pictures of their child whenever I get a free moment. What makes me a good Christian is taking personal time to pray, get in the Word, and fellowship with other Christians. I grow deeper in my walk with Christ when I push the distractions out. I draw closer to the Lord when I schedule my day, week, month around Him. 

I am posting this to encourage you to draw that line in the sand if you haven’t already. Make it clearly defined so it is easier to follow. Stand firm on your boundaries. If you don’t adhere to them, neither will other people.

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