Increase Your Productivity By Setting Good Boundaries

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans5 Minutes

“Good fences make good neighbors,” wrote poet Robert Frost. He was sharing a truth that goes all the way back to Genesis. The creation account establishes that good boundaries are natural, necessary, and productive. Boundaries are symbiotic and when respected, unity and connectedness thrive. Trampled boundaries create conflict and sow seeds of death.

Challenging boundaries

Back in the Garden when Adam and Eve trampled the only boundary line God gave — do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil — the world collapsed. We live in the chaotic void created by the fall. But sin didn’t catch God by surprise, and He uses its aftereffects to grow us into the fullness of our potential!

Christ’s sacrificial life and death rescue us from the effects of sin. Fear, shame, and blame rushed in when that first boundary was broken. Dis-ease, disconnection, and death followed on their heels. But none of that touches us when we live in Christ. Jesus lived within the Kingdom boundaries of love for God and love for others, and when our boundaries honor Jesus, we, too, find peace, acceptance, and purpose.

The same Gospel that redeems our soul rescues us from life’s trials. Learning to apply the Gospel as the boundary of our lives is what living in Christ is all about.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance (Psalm 16:6).

Even though our boundary lines our good, we’re like Adam and Eve and prefer to set new boundaries. In God’s goodness, though, every time we step outside of Christ, life falls apart. Our health or our family or our connection with Him suffers – and that serves as a clarion call to return to Him!

Anytime your world is rocked by the symptoms of sin that showed up in the Garden — rejection, shame, blame, and fear — you know you’ve stepped outside of Jesus. His boundary lines keep you in a place of security, confidence, unity, and fruitfulness.

God’s good boundaries

Boundaries are not about pushing others away or even protecting yourself. They are all about living loved and sharing love! Good boundaries bring good to you and glory to God.

Psalm 37:4 conveys this principle well:

Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Jesus gave two broad borders for Christians to live within (Matthew 22:37, 39):

1. Love the Lord, your God, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

The apostle Paul simplified it by saying, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Knowing your boundaries

Everyone finds it hard to establish healthy boundaries for relationships, health, busyness, and work-life balance. But that struggle is worth it – it has eternal purposes. God’s goal is for us to discover the vast goodness He has given us — and in the process, help others discover Him. Ultimately boundaries are about applying the Gospel to your life!

Maintaining your connection to God is the first priority for any boundary. Whenever you notice dis-ease and disconnection (from God or others), it’s time to set a boundary. You do that by “knocking, seeking, and knowing God” more fully.

Look in the Word to see what God says about the situation you’re facing. Ask Him how Christ’s crucifixion applies to you and the others involved? Seek ways to honor His Word and reveal Him to those the boundary impacts. Let the pressure of living within the boundary push you closer to God, and adjust as He leads.

Stop back Monday, and we’ll discuss how to restore broken boundaries and increase your productivity even more!