“You know, when I think about it….I am ridiculously in charge.”
It was like a light bulb went off in his head. He could create the culture he wanted. One that was positive, highly energetic, accountable and responsible, innovative and authentically resilient. Once he realized what he could have—he needed to make changes because he previously allowed certain destructive behaviors and attitudes to exist. The changes would be hard. For some, they would leave and abandon him. But, ultimately, he knew from that point on that things would be different. He owned it. The realization that what he allowed was in the way of what he could create was the game changer.
What are boundaries?
Essentially, boundaries are made of two important things: what we create and what we allow. Typically, a boundary is a property line. It defines where your property begins and ends. If you own property, you know what is going on there. You are in charge of it. You own the vision, know people that are part of that property, set goals for that property and decide what it’s purpose is truly going to be. You allow certain things to go on there and other things are off-limits. It’s all yours. You set the agenda and make the rules. You also define the shape of what its going to become. You are in charge.
A defining principle of boundaries is who owns it. The owner defines and creates boundaries that also drive other behavior. If something happens on that property, it always comes back to the owner. The owner has certain values. Those values are displayed in positive and negative ways. Just look around you. Everyone in your neighborhood knows who has the most beautiful yard and everyone knows who’s property needs a little work. The outside world can see exactly what is going on within the property. But, sometimes it’s difficult for the owner to see what’s going on.
Transformation is one of our Wheatland values.
Creating transformational opportunities is one of the most important things we do as a church. The moment people discover the resolution to their problems, satisfaction replaces angst. Peace floods the system. We sometimes joke about Jesus being the answer for everything. I know, it’s an inside joke. But, the reality is Jesus IS the answer. We must struggle to find out for ourselves what’s in the way. Transformational moments can lead to a whole new identity. This is something that I struggle with when I hear of the multitude of ways people can self-identify. A friend recently shared with me there were nine different responses for self-identity on a form he was filling out. I wonder if we've become so confused, self-centered and egotistical that we really don’t know what we look like from the outside. But, everyone in the neighborhood knows what’s going on in our property.
The Bible is pretty clear.
God doesn’t mess around. He is clear about what He created and what He allows. If you read the first pages of Genesis, you can see that boundaries defined everything in Creation. Day from night. Land from sea. Birds, wild animals and fish in the sea. Certainly, there are some creatures that can migrate between the land and sea. Airplanes can blast through boundaries that set the air from the land. Humans have always questioned, stretched or gone beyond boundaries that were set for us from the beginning. Chapter three of Genesis was the beginning of the Fall. We’ve been out of bounds since then. The Bible is also pretty clear about how redemption works. Jesus. Remember, He’s the answer. But, that answer needs to propel us toward maturity and transformation. Not only for ourselves but for the world.
The Congregational Survey and Pain Points
We have a better picture of the people of our congregation and the pain points you face because you and many like you responded to the survey. “Overwhelmed and too busy” was the overall description. It’s not just us—it is everyone. I think we started to believe what people told us years ago—that we could be anything we wanted and we could do anything we wanted. So, we became more and did more. Now, we are paying the price of more. There are always consequences or outcomes to the choices we make. We choose which pain to manage and live out our lives handling the pain the best way we know how. Self-medication is the number one tool for managing pain. Open your cupboards and look at the medicines or supplements you take. Some in our families didn’t have the emotional capacity to handle the pain—so they compromised in other ways. You know what I mean. Sports, alcohol, other substance abuse, pornography, food, gambling, excessive television or gaming steal the time needed to build true connection. It’s a vicious cycle….and we know it.
How can boundaries help?
We will learn together. According to some great friends of mine, Dr. Henry Could and Dr. John Townsend, boundaries are the one of the most serious problems that Christ followers face. Our Boundaries series may challenge your long held theological stance or your understanding how the bible is interpreted or applied. Boundaries will set you free and restore your hope. There will be changes that need to be made. We’ve allowed destructive behaviors and attitudes to exist. For some, they will leave and abandon us. But, ultimately, our lives can be different. Own your boundaries. Know what you will allow and understand how you can create. I pray there are many transformational moments for you during this series. I know there have been several already in mine. Come join me and learn more.
Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life's consequences.
Proverbs 4:23 The Jewish Bible
Pastor Jen Wilson