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DAY 13: I Do Boundaries

Proverbs 25:28 says, Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Each of us have been given boundaries. A boundary is like a property line or a city wall. These walls have been designed to keep in what is supposed to stay inside and keep out what is supposed to stay outside. I like to call it our personal yard. The term “yard” is a borrowed term but I think it perfectly depicts what we’re talking about today.

The first part of your yard that you are responsible for is your FEELINGS. Your feelings are yours and you have the right to feel whatever you want to feel. But you have to understand that those feelings are yours and are entirely chosen by you. Our feelings are like a dashboard. They allow us to understand what is going on inside our soul. They tell us if something needs attention. If we have a feeling that rises up that surprises us, it’s a good indicator that there’s something that needs our attention and we must look into it. If we do not allow ourselves to feel specific things, we are not respecting ourselves. It is not respectful to not allow a feeling. But once we have that feeling, we get to choose how we interpret it. Are we going to stay angry? Are we going to feel disrespected? Are we going to choose to feel hurt or choose empathy? There are a plethora of feelings that come to us everyday but we have the power to choose whatever feelings we want to stay.

The second area in our yard God holds us responsible for is the area of our ATTITUDES. Your attitude is in your yard; it’s yours and you own it. Attitudes come from various places but primarily they come from our values and our belief systems. Whatever we believe and value eventually seeps into our attitudes and our feelings. This is why it is important that we don’t just try to change our attitudes but we reevaluate our belief systems and our values because they will eventually change our attitudes.

The third and final area God holds us responsible for is our CHOICES. Whatever we choose to do and the actions we take are fully ours. Once we are adults, whatever we choose to do is our responsibility. We need to take 100% responsibility for our choices and the choices we need to make in order to change and grow. We cannot blame our actions on anyone else other than ourselves. God holds us responsible for each choice we make. God chooses the consequences of our actions but ultimately our actions are in our yard. No longer can we look at the person next to us and blame them for the decisions we’ve made. Our spouse is not responsible. Our parents are not responsible. We are! Your choices, whether you believe it or not, are in your yard and God holds you responsible for them now.

With that said, we have a lot to do. If you manage your boundaries well, you will have very little time for anything else. It will take almost 100% of your attention to focus on your feelings, attitudes, and choices and manage them well. This is a good thing! God would not ask you to do something you cannot do well. God’s Spirit will help us manage our yards in such a way that we can maintain peace, joy, and freedom the whole time. This will require a tremendous amount of self-control and discipline on our part.

Maintaining healthy boundaries will require us to stay fully awake in our daily lives, recognizing feelings that want to take root and poison our hearts. It will require an ability to reevaluate our attitudes, going deep into our values and belief systems to root out an unbelieving or critical spirit. It will also require us to operate as spiritual adults and understand that all of our choices, whether past, present or future, are ours. We get to own them and we will reap their fruit as well.

Bible says in Joshua 24:15, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” I believe it is that simple. Are we committed to managing our choices, feelings, and attitudes in such a way that pleases God and demonstrates a manageable, peaceful, and love-filled life? If you want to be more like God, then have more boundaries.

[1] Joshua 24:15