Most of us have a moral compass of sorts, or at least I hope so. What’s ‘crossing the line’ with you may not be ‘crossing the line’ for others. I have found that the more I had ‘crossed the line’ in my life, the less I saw it anymore.
What is this line? Well, to me it’s a decision you make that deep down, you know better. It’s the movie that you watched where you felt rotten afterwards. It’s the flirty comment you made to a co-worker even though you’re married. It’s talking about your friend to another friend and acting as though it’s not gossip. It’s telling your boss you’ll “work” from home as you catch up on laundry, mowing the lawn and to-do lists instead. We all have a ‘line’ and most of us at some point have crossed it.
Although as Romans 3:23 says,‘everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard’, I do believe there is hope. I’ve learned along the way as I pursued God more and more and studied His Word (the Bible) that there are many ways to combat this. I’ve learned that in order to avoid crossing these ‘lines’, we need to set some boundariesor as Andy Stanley, a Pastor down in Atlanta called it, a guardrail. Yes, a guardrail is damaging to a vehicle but it keeps the vehicle from worse or even catastrophic consequences.
Here are some examples of boundaries or guardrails:
- One who has a tendency to drink too much should not be in an atmosphere where they specialize in serving drinks (a bar or liquor store)
- One who has a tendency to look at inappropriate images (a porn problem) should never have access to a computer behind closed doors. A computer in the most occupied room works. There are also programs like Covenant Eyes that can help here.
- One who tends to talk about others (gossip) should have a close friend in their life who calls them out on this and helps them along.
All of these guardrails or boundaries work best with an accountability partner. One who you can talk openly to and one who will pray for you consistently. James 5:15 says “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”Some of us who follow Christ see Him as an ‘invisible god’ who we feel is not really paying attention to our failures or lapses in judgment. This is why it is so beneficial to have an an actual accountability personin our life that will check on us and ask the tougher questions.
Here’s the thing, all of this is not easy. Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, who was absolutely sold out for Christ, and who knew more than most struggled with sin. Paul says in Romans 7:18-21“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”
We are all born into sin. If you have any children, you see this right from the start. “Mine, mine…!” We didn’t teach them that…they were born with that. Our job is to help them get away from that! That is what scripture is all about. There is this wonderful Book, The Bible, that is full of practical ways of living a life more fulfilling, more relational, more purposeful, and more loving. This book has changed my life. I know who I once was and I know what Christ has done to me through His Word and I’m so thankful. Yes, I have a lot to work on but as I lean into Him daily, He’s lessening the load.
I encourage you all today to draw the line. Become aware of that line. Commit to not crossing it, and I promise you, it will change your life.