How do I say “Yes”? How do I say “No”?
If we are going to stay healthy the Way of following Jesus, we need to do daily soul work. These are not checklists to be accomplished, rather continuous courageous decisions to live wholeheartedly, encourages Brené Brown in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection (see resource list). The title of Brown’s Guidepost #7 is explicit regarding boundaries: “Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.” Take note of what phrase of this title speaks to your life today.
Using Brown’s suggestion in Guidepost 7 (p.103-104) create 2 lists:
- The specific conditions that are in place when your life feels balanced/good/healthy.
- Your To-do list.
Compare the 2 lists.
The Biblical principles that speak most clearly to setting limits are creation and Jesus’ life and ministry.
Genesis 1:1-2 in the Spanish version NVI (similar translation principles to the English NIV) reads, “God, in the beginning, created the heavens and the earth. The earth was a total chaos.” The following verses continue the story of separating the day and night, the water over and under the earth, and then the sea from the dry land. When these key boundaries are defined, on the third day, the narrator notes, ”And God saw that it was good.”
Consider the natural boundaries that exist in the created order.
- How many can you notice?
- What happens when these limits are violated?
JESUS’ LIFE and MINISTRY
Read Luke 4:1-5:16.
- Observe the examples of boundaries that Jesus created in this early part of his ministry.
- How did he create these?
- What questions would you ask Jesus about one of his boundaries if you could interview him?
- Which of the most surprises you?
- What conclusions can you draw from your observations?
- Return to the lists you created in the PREPARATION section. Consider one change you might begin to implement to bring your life more into balance.
- Pay attention this week and wonder about the boundaries in nature.
- Is there a boundary that Jesus’ example give your courage to implement in your life? Perhaps a situation where you could begin to act more clearly to set a healthier limit?