While I have been aware of this tendency in myself for many years, it is a fact with which I’ve struggled much and even now am not completely comfortable. Indeed, it is a fact that I’ve tried to squelch, hide, change, and even pray away. All unsuccessfully. For even when I try my best to not push boundaries, I often discover later that I was pushing boundaries simply by being me.
And that is tough. Many people don’t like having their boundaries stretched. It forces them to step out of their comfort zones. It dares them to face change. It challenges them to think through long-held beliefs—even correct beliefs. As a result, many in the church equate boundary pushing with boundary breaking and therefore automatically condemn it as evil.
Yet I am not a boundary breaker—at least, I try not to be. For God has given us boundaries and has given them for our safety and benefit. This means there are absolutes in the world. There is a standard of right and wrong by which we are to abide. We cannot live however we wish without consequences.
But at the same time I have become more and more convinced that God desires us to live with far more freedom than we often do. After all, we live by faith, not by works. We are saved by God’s grace, not by the Law. Nor were we made slaves to fear again but were given the Spirit of sonship!
So while boundary pushing remains an uncomfortable part of my world, I’ve slowly come to realize that pushing boundaries is not only good but even a necessary part of life. For God commands us to grow up in our faith, and He desires everyone to become fully mature. Such growth and maturity, whether physical or spiritual, come when we stretch our “boundaries” in some way—whether through learning a new skill, expanding our knowledge, or experimenting with our methods. Therefore, if we aren’t pushing our boundaries in some way, then most likely we aren’t growing, and if we aren’t growing, we are disobeying God.
This means every follower of Jesus Christ should strive to become a boundary pusher—of the right sort. It is possible to push boundaries in the wrong way. So over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at how to handle our boundaries correctly so that we might push them rightly and consequently grow properly.