Guardrails for Life

This past Saturday in my men’s group, a friend introduced me to a sermon by Andy Stanley called Guardrails. I would highly recommend you watching the entire Guardrails message on Stanley’s North Point Church site.

Everyone knows what a guardrail is–right? They’re those things that stretch along the shoulder of highways or bridges and help protect us from a potentially devastating crash or wreck. If you brush up against them or run into them they may cause your vehicle damage, but nothing like driving off a bridge or into oncoming traffic.

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Stanley uses Ephesians 5:15-18 for arguing the wisdom of guardrails:

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit

So guardrails are boundaries we set for ourselves. Not just a little yellow line, but hard boundaries. We feel some discomfort when when we touch those boundaries. Through God’s Spirit our conscience alerts us and redirects us.

Paul uses the illustration of drunkenness here because it can lead to many devastating consequences. But that’s one example. Drunkenness may not be an issue for you.

Not everyone will have the same boundaries. We all have specific areas of weakness, and we know what those areas are. Some may call us legalistic for setting certain limits in our life, but this isn’t about legalism. It’s all about asking the best spiritual-growth question I can think to ask: Is this the wise thing for me to do?

Consider these areas in your life: relationships, work, marriage, hobbies, leisure time, health, thought life, spiritual growth, personal development.

What are some guardrails you put up in these areas?

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4 Responses to Guardrails for Life

  1. “…and we know what those areas are…” Good point (although we tend to try to ignore what we know inside!)

    • Excellent point! We do tend to ignore what we know. Some of that may have to do with voices from the world which are more like the “yellow line.” “Drink responsibly”, “Talk to your kids about drugs”, “safe sex.” All of these have merit, but Stanley argues that they are probably too soft of a boundary. God doesn’t want us to be legalistic, but maybe the boundaries should be a little more uncomfortable. I think we all would agree–there’s some awfully ugly stuff on the other side of these boundaries.

  2. Excellent post! I have seen this sermon and agree with you that everyone should view it. Jay

    • Thanks, Jay! I grew up listening to Charles Stanley, but I’ve been very impressed with Andy’s sermons and his style. I’m sure his dad is very proud of him even though they’ve been through some tough times.

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