As we begin our trek into the new year, I thought it could be helpful to do an episode on something that is REALLY hard for a lot of people: Boundaries. As a peace-loving 9 on the enneagram, this is actually one of the hardest things for me to practice. If I have any fellow peace-keepers or people-pleasers out there, you’ll understand. Boundaries are a type of discipline that can have the tendency to feel selfish if practiced for your own sake. If you’re like me, you may have NO problem pointing out the need for boundaries - for other people. But struggle for yourself. But. What if I told you God actually gave us something to live by? Because…He did.
Today, I wanted to look at the Bible as a guide to healthy boundaries and wise choices. After all, the Bible is the key to all of life’s principles. So, it stands to reason that God would have a few things to say about this.. Now, you may be thinking “I don’t remember a commandment about personal boundaries..” BUT I actually beg to differ. You know why? Because a boundary is just another name for a “Limit”, “Border”, or even a “Perimeter”. They are in place for a reason. They protect our own hearts, they protect the hearts of others, and ultimately, when adhered to, they SHOULD help create a healthy community for all. The ten commandments are actually the FIRST set of such boundaries. I would even consider them the pillars to live by. They are the main guideposts of life and even if they were the only laws or principles to live by, they would be enough. But God is so good and left THE most detailed help-guide (if we so choose to pursue it).
Seriously, Proverbs is chock FULL of the most practical life principles. Some are so simple. Some are deep. And some are really encouraging… and honestly, some are very convicting. It is a collection inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by the wisest man who ever lived (King Solomon). And while these chapters are generally full of LIFE PRINCIPLES to live by, for the sake of today’s episode, I also want you to consider them boundaries YOU can apply in your own life. Whether these be personal boundaries, relational boundaries, business boundaries, or even boundaries that create strength of character. Each and every line in the book of Proverbs is applicable to life today. That I can promise.
One of the things I love most about Proverbs (aside from its practical nature) is the fact that almost every boundary or principle listed is followed up with a promise to go with it. Promises for whichever decision you make. For the good or for the bad. From friendships to neighbors, to business, to marriage, to parenting, and even to legal practices. This book holds boundaries for all of life. A veritable Book For Dummies! I’m not offended. Just thankful God knew we would need a play book for life!
Listen, this may all sound dull to you today. But, as the days and weeks go on, my prayer for you is that you’ll remember today’s episode. Remember WHERE to go when searching for wisdom in life matters. Likely as not, a lot of answers can be found in these 31 chapters. It isn’t a hard read. It doesn’t even take that long. But, I want to encourage you with this. The next time you find yourself in a situation feeling like you don’t know what to do.. comb through the book of Proverbs. It could be an argument with a friend, a business decision, a question about marriage or parenting.. It could even be as simple as how to find true peace. I just bet God has a word in there for you. Be it encouraging or convicting. Chances are good that He left us with a principle or boundary to apply. Today’s episode hasn’t be a firey one by any means, but I do hope it will be the guide you need as you navigate the weeks ahead. May it lead you into wisdom. May you glean reassurance and encouragement from the pages in Proverbs. A Dummies Guide to Setting Boundaries.