Saturday, February 22, 2020
30 LETTERS TO MY CHURCH on DISCIPLESHIP - LETTER 27
LETTER 27 - DISCIPLES HAVE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
Dear Redeemer Family,
Disciples of Jesus know when to say "yes," and when to say "no."
Disciples say "yes" to Jesus, and "no" to the secular values of their culture.
They do this by establishing godly, healthy boundaries.
Before I became a disciple of Christ, I had few boundaries. When I became a follower of Jesus, He began to teach me about them.
One week after I became committed to Jesus as my Lord, I was invited by friends to a party. Drugs were there. I believed I had been set free from a daily habit of smoking marijuana. At this party, joints of marijuana were being passed around. My friend, Bob, took a hit, and then passed the joint to me.
I took it, said "No, thanks," and passed it on. A few minutes later I left the party.
I had set a boundary. This was an important lesson for me!
A boundary is like a fence. A fence keeps good things in, and bad things out. Disciples of Christ set a fence around their hearts. They learn to say "yes" to the values of God's Kingdom, and "no" to the falsehoods of the kingdom of darkness.
When the Boundaries materials came out in the 1990s, they were a huge help to me and Linda. Much of our counseling ministry is about helping people understand and apply godly, healthy boundaries.
We have learned that sometimes we even say "no" to things that are, in themselves, godly and good. For example, one of our habits in marriage is having a date night, every Friday night. Linda and I estimate we have had at least 2,400 Friday night dates, spanning forty-six and a half years of marriage! This habit is rooted in a core value: We will take time to invest in our marriage.
One Wednesday night a friend called. He was putting on a conference, and the main speaker got sick. My friend was under pressure as he asked if I could fill in on Friday night. I said, "I'm sorry, but I cannot." He asked, "Why not?"
I said, "Linda and I have a date, and have the evening scheduled."
I could tell this answer frustrated him. I did not feel I had to defend myself. We said good-bye. Five minutes later, he called to apologize. He told me he understood and valued my commitment to my marriage.
What would you have said? Maybe you would have agreed to speak. As for Linda and I, we have set a fence around Friday nights. Only weddings, funerals, and medical emergencies may interrupt this.
The first disciples said "no" to many things in order to say "yes" to. I have learned to do this.
I want the freedom of boundary-setting for you, too.
Every day I say "yes" to Jesus, and "no" to the values of this world.
I place the cross before me, and the world behind me.
I have placed a godly guard around my heart.
Having boundaries has set me free to love as Jesus loves.
I walk in the wisdom of knowing what to do, and knowing what not to do.
I often help others establish godly boundaries in their lives.