There are many books written on the topic of boundaries; boundaries in dating, boundaries in marriage, boundaries with children. Boundaries abound! While it’s all wonderful and necessary to have boundaries; what about boundaries when it comes to our relationship with Christ? Setting boundaries in your relationship with Jesus must and should be a priority.
When you think of your life what boundaries do you currently have in place? I often ask this of my college students and well; you probably would not be surprised by the answer. None. I ask them what boundaries they have in place with their cell phones, sex before marriage, their time; and I’ve been told they don’t really have much time to think about such trivial things and here is where the problem will continue. Those young adults turn into 40 somethings; and still with no boundaries. And by the way; do you have any boundaries with your cell phone? Do you own it or does it own you?
If we have no boundaries in anything in life; then what impact will it have? Obviously we can see the impact in how we are treating one another and being treated, the divorce rate, the singlehood rate; the rate of abortion and everything else is evident of clear boundaries and some may say lack of respect for self.
As we examine boundaries in our relationship with Christ what boundaries do you have in place? Do you set aside specific time daily for reading scripture, studying scripture, meditating on His Word; prayer? Or it is just go and serve in the building? Now in no way am I coming against serving by any means although what tends to happen is a scenario such as this:
People enter into a church and because there is such a need they serve. It’s wonderful as there is a need and people are pleased to meet the need. Then the need grows and the people are needed more; and because they believe they are called to serve it continues only to the downfall of the relationship with Christ. The relationship with Christ for many turns into a complaint session of how tired they are from serving. As such instead of growing closer to the Lord they grow further and drift away. Christ is left there alone while people resent Him when in reality if only they had set boundaries with Him they would not be in such a position in the first place. They would have both; the healthy relationship with Christ and be serving.
It all begins with Christ and our relationship with Him. Period. We must start there because there will always be a need. Always. There will never not be a time in life when there is not a need for something. If you do not have boundaries in place then won’t you simply get tired and who’s fault will it be? It’s time that we set in place boundaries to protect our relationships with the Lord because if we don’t how can we expect it to grow? Remember that you will not possess what you are not willing to protect!
So how do you do it? How do you set boundaries in your relationship with Christ? As I was reading John 21:15-17 I was drawn by the fact that 3 times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Peter answered 3 times yes. Each time he did the Lord gave him a responsibility. The one thing that Jesus never asked was about his skills or education; because obviously He knew what was most important. Love.
Through that I recognized that there are many ways to demonstrate love for another; and the Lord demonstrates His love for us as well. So how do you do it? What are ways that you can demonstrate your love for Christ? Set boundaries. It’s quite simple when you actually sit down and apply it. What are all the other things in your life that you are willing to protect? Make your relationship with Jesus the most important and the results will be there. Answer the questions truthfully and you will be able to develop the boundaries that are most suitable for you and your relationship with Christ.
1- How much time am I spending with the Lord now?
2- How much time would I like to be spending with the Lord?
3- What am I giving more priority to that isn’t adding to my life?
4- What have I allowed others to make a priority in my life that really isn’t?
5- What am I willing to rearrange or remove in my life to build and maintain my relationship with Christ?
What you will find is that just as Christ asked Peter if he loved Him; the answer was there along with the proof. Peter went from denying Christ to being all in with love and passion for Him. 3k people gave their lives to the Lord to begin the Book of Acts and God used Peter to reach the non-Jews. Peter also held prayer meetings, kept regular hours of prayer and followed through with his love for the Lord.
You see; his priorities changed and through that there has to be boundaries in place. If there were none there would be no consistent prayer meetings or anything else. Anyone would have free reign to enter and take charge; and that’s what has happened all too often in the lives of Christians. They have good intentions; but so what? Imagine if all Peter had was good intentions and no follow through; where we would be today?
It will require an in-depth introspective look at your relationship with the Lord; no different than a marriage. What do you want in place? What do you want your relationship to look like? What are you willing to accept or not accept? What do you want it to be filled with? If you are not paying attention to that and setting those boundaries in place- someone else with an agenda will use you. It happens all the time to unsuspecting Christians who don’t have those boundaries in place. They get tired and you my dear brother and sister; are worth more than that. And Jesus is. And so is your relationship with Him.
It’s time to reflect on the boundaries not in place or maybe those that need some revising; and set them in place. It’s time to ensure that your relationship with the Lord above all is protected and that your relationship will be all that it is supposed to be for His purpose.