We’ve been looking at behaviors that will help us to thrive in this new year, and yesterday we talked about leaving gaps in our lives in order to be interruptible people. Today, I want to share with you another vitally important thing to practice — setting and keeping boundaries.
Boundaries are the fences around your life that enable you to maintain your sense of yourself. They give you the power to say yes and no to the requests of others so that your life doesn’t spiral out of control. In general, I’ve found that Christians are really bad at boundaries and pastors are even worse. Since we are God’s servants and the servants of His people, we tend to agree to everything in order to make as many people as possible happy. When I first started pastoring, I was saying yes with my mouth but my heart was growing cynical and angry. I was very sweet to people, but I became judgmental, passive aggressive, and stressed out. This is what inevitably happens when we are overextended and say yes to too much — we end up resenting ourselves and others!
Friend, keeping your boundaries makes you a more compassionate human being. Once you get over the discomfort of saying no and dealing with people’s initial disappointment, you will find that your life is more free than it’s ever been and you will be able to give out of overflow, not lack. You can’t do everything well and it isn’t your job to make everyone happy, so pay close attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow peace to be your compass as you make decisions. Knowing and maintaining your boundaries will empower you and transform you into a more Christlike person; then He will be able to work through you in even greater ways! Isn’t that wonderful news?