Psalm1: 1 – 3 (TLB)
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. 2 But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.
3 They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.
One of life’s principles rarely preached these days, is the need for us Christians to have boundaries in our lives. Some people even question that. After all, are we not commanded to love and accept everyone? Indeed we are. But if you study scripture, you will realize that despite that fact that God commands us to love everyone, he doesn’t permit us to mismanage the investments he has put in us.
The Bible verse at the beginning of this article opens our eyes to the parameters of the boundaries we should set as children of God.
You have the tendency to reflect the attitudes and behaviors of the people you hang around with. When you spend time with those who have no regard for the things of God, those who mock the Church of God and his word, and those who do not believe in obeying God’s word, your life will eventually go the way their life goes. You might be born-again but if your closest friends and buddies are not, if you’re not careful, you’re going to end up a carnal Christian.
“But how can I win them to Christ if I avoid them?” you ask. Truth is, there will always be some people who don’t believe the gospel or live according to it in this world, and asking you to avoid them is like saying you should check out of here. Lol. So, “avoiding them” is not what I’m asking you to do. Love them, talk to them, pray for them, and help them out when they need it, but set boundaries. Know where to draw the line. You don’t have to party with them, participate in conversations that do not glorify God or laugh at their dirty jokes. Know when to say “bye guys! See ya’ll later!”
As Christians, we need to clearly define the parameters of access to our lives. The boundaries that you set with people are determined by the nature of your relationship with them, and also by your relationship with God.
What If a Christian friend starts living in sin? Sometimes we are faced with this dilemma. A Christian brother or sister gets carried away by the attractions of this world and begins to engage in ungodly activities or adopts an ungodly lifestyle. The bible has answers to this, and one of them is found here:
Galatians 6: 1-2 (TLB)
6 Dear brothers, if a Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help him back onto the right path, remembering that next time it might be one of you who is in the wrong.
This is as clear as day, and while you are gently and prayerfully helping out your brother/sister, you must also be careful to watch yourself. Realize that you can’t really change anybody. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. You can advice, motivate and inspire, but change of heart comes from God.
Over time, I have come to realize that I’m a limited resource. I am not the Holy Spirit. I can’t physically and emotionally be there for everybody who needs help, but I can intercede in prayer, knowing that the earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results. (James 5:16)
Finally, you have to stay filled with the presence of God, otherwise you will not have anything to give or share with anyone.
God bless ya!