October 20, 2020
Social media used to be the only thing we had going online.
School, home, church, etcetera, were offline activities.
Now, most of our interactions are clumped up in one virtual space—in countless chat groups, pages, subscriptions, and applications.
Social media and technology have allowed us to be there for one another, albeit virtually, and despite the distance. It has allowed us to be a virtual shoulder to cry on at any time.
But if we don’t consciously draw the lines of personal boundaries, being “always on” can lead to fatigue, burnout, or blurred lines in our relationships.
Even the most extroverted people need a time-out for solitude and rest.
Resting involves letting our minds and bodies take regular breaks. When we take time to pause, we get to reflect by spending time with God, reading His word, and simply being still in His presence. We also need to deliberately allow for activities that improve our well-being. Engaging in recreation involves expressing our creativity and exploring other talents that we can develop, given enough time.
We cannot do all these if we do not make room for it in our day-to-day lives.
Personal boundaries create a space for us to rest, reflect, and grow.
Creating healthy boundaries may mean that we spend time with less people, but this translates to more quality time for your most important relationships. These relationships are those where you are able to give and receive learning, correction, and encouragement.
How then do we draw the lines?
Just as you consider answering modules and attending online classes non-negotiable parts of your weekly schedule, allot blocks of time in your calendar for rest, reflection, recreation, and reconnecting with your key relationships.
I learned these two simple principles from mentors: 1) “If it’s really important to you, put it in your schedule,” and 2) “Something that’s not written down is probably not going to happen.” So make a schedule and write it down.
A crucial part of maintaining boundaries is knowing which opportunities to grab. That’s why planning is necessary.
2. Learn to say no so you can say yes to what matters most.
Boundaries guard us from overcommitting and enable us to keep commitments we’ve already made. When I have trouble saying “no,” I have to remind myself that saying no frees me to say yes to the things that matter most—namely, God and my most important priorities.
In his book Beyond Good Advice, Dr. Tito Almadin writes: “The anchor to our soul is our strong and deep relationship with Jesus . . . our daily walk with God helps us build our faith muscles to carry the burdens of life.”
The joy of ministering to others can never replace the satisfaction that comes from being ministered to by God. We can give Him all our concerns and unload the burdens that we carry. We can take Him up on His offer of rest for our souls by coming to Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.“
Matthew 11:28–29 (NIV)
Receiving from God and learning from Him takes time; having personal boundaries gives way for this, the most important relationship in our lives.
Having healthy boundaries is all about being a good steward of two limited resources we have been given: our time and our health. It is good for us to take a step back every once in a while to ask ourselves if we are using our time and taking care of our bodies in a way that honors God.
If you want to be part of a church community, even virtually, just send a message via Messenger to Every Nation Campus Philippines and we’ll help you get connected.