Tuesday, February 16, 2016

5 Benefits of Setting Boundaries

Because the Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

1. They will keep you from putting yourself in extremely tempting situations. 

Everyone faces temptation. Literally. Even Jesus was tempted by Satan.

(Side note: When I think about Jesus facing temptation, I feel comfort in knowing I serve a God who was fully man and can completely relate to what I am going through.)

But back to boundaries. One way we set boundaries is in our romantic relationships. For example, we know that before marriage, we shouldn't be having sex. But we also know...it's not that simple.

And that there's a lot of impractical advice out here, that makes pursuing purity sound like a walk in the park. But we don't ever buy it.

Ultimately, we have to fight for purity at any cost, so we set boundaries. Boundaries like, for example, no laying in bed together. The boundary itself doesn't have the power to keep us from falling, but it certainly creates a far less tempting environment.

Temptation is really just an attack on our faith. It is the lie that says there is no way God can satisfy us the way He promises. By creating boundaries, we are creating opportunities to drown out the lies of the accuser.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

2. They make you as productive and effective as possible.

Setting boundaries at work or school or doing whatever you love, helps you to get stuff done. Setting a boundary starts with setting a goal. "Ok Holly, by 2:00 p.m. you will have the first 2 things checked off your to-do list."

So what does that mean? It means I have to limit the amount of time I spend well...staring at my computer screen thinking about lunch. Or if I'm doing schoolwork, I have to stop scrolling on Instagram and put..the...phone...down.

It is an amazing feeling when you actually accomplish what you set out to do and finish it without distractions. Because realistically, we are here to serve the Lord and everything we do is for Him, so doing our best truly pays off.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23-24

3. They help you keep God first and eliminate idols.

Friends can become idols. When we run and talk to them before getting on our knees before the Lord, we've made them idols. A healthy boundary in friendship is committing to talking to God about your situation, before you talk to people.

Like all boundaries, it's not always easy, but it's worth it. God wants to be first. It's kinda His thing.

(I just wrote an entire post about idols. Check it out here!)

4. They keep you from getting too comfortable and developing unhealthy habits. 

It is even necessary to set boundaries with what we eat. I guess I should use this opportunity to confess I ate Frosted Flakes with no milk for breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday, but let's be honest...I'm not the goal here. Give me a break.

Speaking from experience (yesterday's) it is crucial to keep a healthy, balanced lifestyle. So creating boundaries for what you are going to refrain from eating, can help you develop healthy habits overtime.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1 Corinthians 6:12

5. They will force you to grow in intimacy with Christ.

We even need boundaries in our prayer life. If we get in the habit of praying short, heartless prayers, we are only damaging our intimacy with God.

A prayer life is called a prayer life because that's what is it...a life. Just like a social life. We have 5 different apps on our phones to talk to the same people 5 different ways because our social lives get boring. Our relationship with God can boring too. Very boring. Also dry.

But God never changes, so it must be me and you. By setting boundaries in our prayer life we are saying, "God I refuse to lose the intimacy in our relationship. I am committed to staying close to you. I need your grace."

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. - 
James 4:8 NKJV

(I have a post about rekindling your relationship with God too! Check it out.)

If you think it's totally worth is to set boundaries, feel free to share this on social media. What have you learned from setting boundaries in your life?

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