Setting Boundaries – Day 17 of Lent

God set boundaries.

Don’t believe me?  Go to the coast and mark how far the waves wash inland.  God said this far and no farther. (Job 38)

And, God expects us to set boundaries as well.

This is not a new concept to me.  As a child, I knew where the boundaries were.  They kept me safe and others safe from me.

A hedge row that encircled our yard marked the end of my domain and the beginning of my parent’s.

Within boundaries, certain things are allowed.  And, within those same boundaries certain things are not allowed.

Boundaries are good.

Boundaries define.

Boundaries defend.

Boundaries delineate.

Without boundaries anything goes. Confusion reigns. Drama prevails. There is no you / me…it’s all we. And, we become entangled in whatever pull is strongest at the moment…whatever cry is loudest…whatever need seems greatest….

In yesterday’s post, a section of Philippians 2 was shared.  Here’s an abbreviated portion.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)

Please note – it does not say look only to the interests of others.  It says “look…also to the interests of others.”  ALSO implies I’m to look at my own interests first – in fact the first part of the verse says “look not only” to your own interests.

I’ve not looked to my own interests…I’ve neglected them.  My focus has been fully on the needs and interests of others.  That’s not God honoring or God pleasing.


I set some last week and even more this week. For my own sanity, peace of mind and personal health I said, “this far and no more.”

Some boundaries are set for temporary purposes (like barriers set up for parades) and others with more permanent intention.

If you bump up against a boundary that you didn’t expect or didn’t see the last time you entered the area known as “me” don’t take it personally…it isn’t intended as a personal affront. Take it as an indication of love – for you and for myself, too.

For, you see…I know me better than you know me and I know where my boundaries need to lie in this moment in my journey.

And, my Lenten journey is not about pleasing you, it’s about pleasing God.


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