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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

25 Sep '11

Boundaries matter

All of us have boundaries in our personal lives, our work and our relationships. Those boundaries are designed to keep us in moral, ethical, legal and healthy places. When we start to violate those boundaries and play with the boundary lines we are in dangerous territory.

How well we keep our boundaries is a matter of our humility. Pride says, "those boundaries don't matter for me." Humility says, "Those boundaries apply to me just like they apply to others and they are there for my own good." The human heart has endless ability to move the boundary markers in our own lives and to rationalize the decision. It is the nature of sin to think that the rules don't apply to us. It is actually narcissism - the rules don't apply to me, I am above them.

In ancient times, boundaries were marked by stones and it was a major offence to move a boundary stone: they were sacred and immovable. So it should be in our lives. The ethical and moral lines laid down in Scripture are there for our protection and represent the immovable boundary stones of a righteous God. We have other boundary stones in our workplaces that are equally immovable. The moment we start to move the stones, our hearts are in jeopardy and the deceit of pride has reared its dangerous head. God says the markers matter. The evil one says they don't - at least for us.

We ought to ask ourselves periodically if we are playing with any boundary markers in our lives. Have we moved any? Are we skating across any? Are we thinking that any of them don't apply to us? None of us is exempt from moving the markers. All of us are tempted to do so. But it never turns out well and once we have moved one it is easier to move another and another and another. The boundaries in our lives matter and the wise humbly acknowledge that they apply to them not just to others.

If any markers have been moved the smartest thing we can do is repent and put them back where they originally belonged. Boundaries matter.