Setting Healthy Boundaries
There’s a lot to be said for boundaries. Boundaries aren’t the antithesis to freedom but the assistant to it.
The idea of setting boundaries in our lives doesn’t sound very sexy but if we fail to apply boundaries then we will never live up to our potential.
Think about it. Good money management requires a budget. Good driving requires we stay within the roadmarks. But let’s go deeper for a moment. If we want to avoid car crashes in our relationships, dating and emotions we need to apply the wisdom of boundaries.
In the ancient book of the Psalms, David the King of Israel wrote these words recorded in Psalm 16:6 ...
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
David is saying that the boundaries of his life have expanded and grown. This means that when we set boundaries in our life, we actually experience more freedom not less freedom. This doesn’t make sense on one level because we tend to think that freedom and a life of meaning requires no rules, no restrictions and no boundaries. But this flawed logic doesn’t work in real life.
If we want to mature and live the abundant life promised in John 10:10, then we need to set some boundaries over our heart, in our relationships and emotions.
Here are 6 boundaries we can set up if we want our lives to be healthy. These 6 boundaries are taken directly from Psalm 16.
#1 Unsafe Places
Psalms 16:1 TPT
“Keep me safe, O mighty God. I run for dear life to you,
my safe place.”
An unsafe place is where you are likely to be harmed, damaged or lost. There are places we can run to for relief but they do more harm to us than good.
Where do you turn when life is too much? Where do you run to in order to medicate what is stressing you? We ALL have a hiding place.
For some of us, it maybe a person we run too. And this makes things worse. Or maybe you run to places online to numb the pain or escape from the harsh realities of life. These places are unsafe emotionally, psychological and spiritually.
If want to grow in freedom, we need to say NO to unsafe places. We need to learn to set boundaries around us.
God is my safe place. A place of true refuge and grace. A place of no condemnation and shame. God through the person of Jesus is our true safe place.
Psalm 16:3 MSG
“And these God-chosen lives all around— what splendid friends they make!”
I’m currently reading a book titled ‘The Village Effect’ and the premise of the book is that face to face contact with friends has the emotional power to bring healing effects to our body. It’s an interesting read.
The scriptures continual point us toward building healthy community around us. When times are tough we can be tempted to withdraw from the very people who are best for us. I’ve personally seen the effects of isolation in peoples lives.
King David determined to stay planted in healthy community. He had ‘mighty men’ like Benaiah and Joab with him during the twists and turns of his life.
Who are you allowing to speak into your life? Who has your permission to challenge you? Isolation is a choice. Don’t allow it to take hold of you.
#3 Cutting Corners
Psalms 16:5 TPT
“Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance. You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion. I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.”
There’s a time in David’s life when he was been hunted by King Saul. And one day David found Saul in a cave and David’s assistant whispered in his ear “Hey Dave, this is your chance to slay Saul and become the King of Israel.” So David Cut the Corner of Sauls robe and he was convicted and said to himself “I will not touch the Lords anointed again”. In other words, David determined that he will never Cut Corners again.
In verse 5 of Psalm 16 David says “I leave my destiny and it’s timing in your hands”. David determined to not push himself into Gods purpose again but instead trust in Gods timing. He embraced each season with faithfulness.
We need to settle in our heart that God knows what He is doing. We don’t have to strive but we can rest in the truth that He will open the right doors and close the wrong doors!
In what area of your life are you cutting corners? Determine to serve with excellence and faithfulness. Your destiny is in safe hands!
Psalms 16:6 TPT
“Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places. I’m overwhelmed by the privileges that come with following you, for you have given me the best!
In 1 Corinthians 11:26 Paul wrote “You must never let familiarity breed contempt”. Contempt means to see something as worthless or common.
If we’re not careful we can become familiar with all the blessings around us. We can even become familiar with our faith. Familiarity causes us to take people for granted and take God for granted which leads us to an attitude of apathy.
David decided to set a boundary over his heart that he would never allow himself to become familiar with the privileges of following God. No matter how good your life is right now, familiarity is only one decision away. Decide to never go there. Stay grateful.
Psalms 16:7 TPT
“The way you counsel and correct me makes me praise you more, for your whispers in the night give me wisdom, showing me what to do next.”
Accountability is not the most popular word out there. People usually think of accountability as annoying.
But David set a boundary of accountability around him. He had Nathan the Prophet and other advisors that he would run his decisions through.
David’s lowest moment in his entire life was when he withdrew from accountability and ultimately committed adultery and murder. I can say with confidence that our lowest moments will most likely be because of unaccountability.
Although David failed from time to time, over the course of his life, he lived accountable to God and His Word.
Who are you accountable too? Set some boundaries today.
#6 Dry Religiosity
Psalms 16:8 TPT
“Because you are close to me and always available, my confidence will never be shaken, for I experience your wrap-around presence every moment.”
David didn’t just believe in God and follow a set of principles. But David knew God in a personal way. “for I experience your wrap-around presence every moment.””
When David talks about experiencing the presence of God, I believe this was a decision that David made. You see, following Jesus is not just a conducting our lives to a set of moral standards. Following Jesus is about a personal relationship. If we’re not careful, our faith can become just about believing the right things.
We need to make a decision to pursue Gods presence. To never settle for dry religiosity.