“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6 NIV
When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan they fought two battles before they entered the Promised Land. After they entered the Promised Land, they fought 39 battles.* They could not afford disruption or idleness. They had to act in one accord submitted to their leadership. They had to be fit and battle ready. Standards were set by God and followed to the letter. There were harsh consequences for the disobedient.
Boundaries are standards that we set in our lives. They are like a no trespassing line to be respected. They protect us from standards that do not match our own. God does not enable irresponsible behavior. Consequences give some good “barbs” to our boundary fences.** They let people know the seriousness of the trespass and the seriousness of the standards. Consequences teach others that our commitment to living according to our values is something we hold dear and will guard and fight to protect.
Jesus told us that in Him we can have peace. In this world we will have trouble. He has already won the victory but there are still battles to be fought. When we hold true to our standards, we are standing firm in the territory that God has allotted for us. When we honor the boundaries of others, it is a way of showing respect for the territory God has placed in their care.
Father, thank you for Your standards. Help us learn to live peaceably with one another in respect and love.
*Prime Time with God devotional, “Being an Overcomer,” 07/26/14
**Bible Gateway, Boundaries devotional, “Back Up Your Boundaries,” 07/25/14