We’ve been discussing new practices that will help us thrive in the new year, and yesterday we discussed the importance of leaving gaps in our life in order to be interruptible. Today, I would like to discuss another crucial skill to master: creating and maintaining boundaries.
Boundaries are the walls that surround your life and allow you to maintain your sense of self. They empower you to say yes or no to demands from others, preventing your life from spiraling out of control. I’ve discovered that Christians, in general, are terrible at setting boundaries, and pastors are even worse. We prefer to agree to everything in order to make as many people happy as possible because we are God’s servants and the servants of His people. I was saying yes with my mouth when I first started pastoring, but my heart was becoming skeptical and angry. I was a kind person at first, but as time went on, I grew judgmental, passive-aggressive, and stressed out. When we overextend ourselves and say yes to too many things, we ultimately end up resenting ourselves and others!
Friend, maintaining your boundaries allows you to be a more caring person. Once you get over the discomfort of saying no and dealing with people’s initial disappointment, you’ll discover that your life is freer than it’s ever been, and you’ll be able to give to others from a place of plenty rather than a one of scarcity. You can’t do everything well, and it isn’t your responsibility to make everyone happy, so listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and let peace be your compass as you make life decisions. Knowing and maintaining your limits will empower you and make you more Christlike, allowing God to work even more powerfully through you! Isn’t it wonderful news?