Are you just hanging on, trying to make it through the day? Then it’s time to live within the boundaries of God’s Word.
Are you living an unsustainable life? Have you ever said things like, “I can’t keep this up much longer. If I have to live like this one more year, it’s probably going to finish me off. It’s all just too much!”
Do you feel like you’re on a treadmill, and if you try to get off everything will fall apart, so you just keep going?
This is what it means to “live on the edge.”
It seems these days that it’s a popular way to look at life. But it’s not the way God wants us to live.
People who live on the edge are stressed-out by the demands of life; frustrated; hanging on, just trying to get through one more day. They have reached their limits but are ignoring them and hoping they can get by with it. If you’re living like this, you need to de-stress your life by establishing godly boundaries.
It’s very unfashionable in our American culture to say, “I’ve had enough and can’t do anymore.” We seem to think we should be able to do it all, no matter how many commitments and obligations we have, and we compare ourselves with people who appear to be managing it all without a problem. Doing this usually means we are getting our sense of worth and value from what we do, not who we are in Christ.
But I have good news for you: You don’t have to be like anybody else or keep up with anybody else. You need to be who you are—who God created you to be—and you don’t have to apologize for it.
It’s OK to say, “I’ve reached my limit.” Moses is a great example of this. In Exodus 18:13-27, we see that he was trying to do too much for the Israelites. He was a good leader who took his responsibility seriously, but he needed help.
When his father-in-law saw how much Moses was doing for the people, he said, “The thing that you are doing is not good” (v. 17, AMP). He went on to say that if he continued this way, Moses would wear out, and the people would get worn-out too. Moses could not do it all by himself. We can’t either.
Philippians 4:13 says we can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength. Now, this doesn’t mean God gives us strength to do everything we want to do or feel like we should do. God gives us His grace and strength to do what He is calling us to do. And that’s all we should be doing. When we live like this, we will have peaceful and powerful lives.
So how do we do it?
First, we have to recognize that if something needs to change, we’re going to have to take responsibility to change it. The world is not going to change, the devil is not going to change, and the people in your life may not want to change. But you can change.
The Word of God gives us guidelines and commandments that help us have a better life. For example, the Bible talks about “wise thoughtfulness” (Prov. 1:3, AMP). I have a tendency to be a rescuer, but loving people doesn’t always mean helping them. When I realized that Jesus didn’t go around trying to make people let Him help them, it really set me free in this area. I was set free to be led by the Holy Spirit about whom to help and how much I should help them.
Here’s another example: The Bible says the borrower is a slave to the lender (see Prov. 22:7). Don’t be like the guy with the bumper sticker who says, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.”
Whatever you are struggling with—relationships, finances, sickness—the Bible has wisdom to help you set boundaries to change how you handle your situation. You’ll find that godly boundaries make your relationships healthier, make you feel better, and help you keep your finances in order and under control.
With God’s help, you can manage your life and not let it manage you. This is what it means to live within the boundaries of God’s Word—and not on the edge.
Joyce Meyer is the author of more than 80 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Eat the Cookie ... Buy the Shoes (Hachette), and hosts the radio and TV program Enjoying Everyday Life.