Large Item Pickup [Part 1]

By Alan Wright — December 21, 2017

Are you ready for some good news?

You don’t exist to please others; you exist to glorify God and live out your destiny in Christ.

Today’s text: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV)

Shame blurs boundaries.

Authors Cloud and Townsend popularized the concept of boundaries in their pivotal book by that title. A boundary is an invisible “property line” for persons. But, for people who have grown up in shame-based environments, those personal boundaries become unclear.

As I’ve described before, our city offers a service once a year called “large item pickup.” It’s an opportunity to put those bulky, throwaway items on the curb for the city to haul to the dump. People put rusty bikes, worn-out grills, and other random “large items” on the curb.

But, as soon as people put their junk on the curb, other people come by and take it! It’s quite hilarious. I once snatched a very nice lampshade in my neighborhood!

Anyway, the “large item pickup” offers a good picture of how boundaries work. If I put an old grill at the curb, I’m announcing to every one: “Here, a free old grill for anyone to take.” However, the grill on my back patio is not available for anyone to take. In fact, if someone came onto my property and started to take the grill from my patio, I’d quickly correct them: “Excuse me, but that grill on the patio is not available – it’s mine.” If they continued to take the grill, I’d call the police.

The “boundaries” are clear. Stuff on the curb is available. Stuff on my patio is not.

When a person loses his or her boundaries, it’s as if everything is on the curb for any passerby to pick up. Maybe you’ve felt it before. If it seems like people take time or energy or resources that you didn’t really want to give, you probably are struggling with boundary issues.

The problem with blurred or non-existent boundaries is that, while you are pleasing everyone else, you very well could be missing your destiny. Your calling, an assignment from God, is at stake. If you are always busy doing what others want you to do, could it be that you’re missing what God wants you to do?

The way to restore healthy boundaries is to discover your worth in Christ. Remember that God made you for marvelous purposes – purposes that you can’t fulfill if you can’t say no to lesser things. As you restore healthy boundaries in your life, you can live out the future and the hope that God has planned for you. And that’s the Gospel!

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