“Do not remove the ancient (personal) boundaries which your fathers have set.” Proverbs 22:28 NKJV
- a line that marks the limits of a geographical area; a dividing line, “the eastern boundary of the wilderness”
- a limit of a subject or sphere of activity. “a community without class or political boundaries”
Proverbs, a book of wisdom, clearly states to “not remove the ancient landmark”. The word landmark comes from a word that means “a twisted cord” as in one used as a boundary marker; A limit, a bound.
Thus, in this context boundaries are not only good, but to be embraced. Here are a few broad areas in which the value of ancient boundaries are revealed:
- within our spirit, soul and body.
- within our soul: mind, will and emotions.
- with others: spouse, immediate family, extended family, friends, co-workers, neighbors.
- geographical: property lines, personal property, public and community areas.
- financial: contracts, budgets, financial accounts.
- personal and public safety: rules of the road, airspace, public safety laws, even (gasp) the whole conceal and carry thing!
- In our occupations: Job and position descriptions, titles, and compensation
My personal boundaries start with a set of core values I have articulated over years. They center on the Word of God and my personal relationship with Jesus. All decisions, large, small, one of a kind and routine, I endeavor to make through that set of values in light of that relationship.
So, when tested, questioned, or challenged, I revisit my personal boundaries:
- examining the edges and evaluating the parameters in which I choose to operate in light of the current situation.
- checking for “drift”, that force that may have eroded or pushed me off center.
Doing this is not to revise but to better refine “ancient boundaries”: Those that should not be moved. Only then, with reference to non-negotiables, do I consider moving or eliminating boundaries that are limiting, ill-fitting or just plain wrong.
Here is the good news: In spite of how they may look at first, the “ancient” boundaries actually free and open up space to us rather than close us in. They serve as a true north to keep me on course.
What purpose have your personal boundaries served? Have you set those boundaries with intention? Please share your thoughts in the comment section right after subscribing!