July 23, 2014

Three Benefits of Creating Artificial Boundaries


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Guest Post by Christian Root, Ministry Coordinator, Vineyard Columbus

So I have a confession to make… I’m not a very disciplined person, never have been. I once watched over 8 hours of the television series “Lost” in one day, and at community pot lucks I’ve been known to put away more than 10 hotdogs. While many descriptors have been attached to my name over the years, “disciplined” has never been one of them.

That is, until recently, when I began inserting “artificial boundaries” into my life to help curb my tendencies toward excess. I first learned about artificial boundaries through pastor Craig Groeschel, and since then I’ve begun to experiment with creating a system that works for me.

So what are artificial boundaries? Artificial boundaries are simply defined limits to common practices and habits in your life. By creating boundaries in your life around common routines and activities, you are able to better defend against the temptation of unproductive, mind-numbing distractions and time-wasters in your life.

For example, I’ve always struggled with Facebook. While many people are on
“The Book” for helpful reasons, like checking up on their church’s page or connecting with new attenders, many of us get on Facebook simply to stall time and keep ourselves from writing that email we really don’t want to spend time on. Because of my struggle to check my Facebook page multiple times a day, I’ve recently created an artificial boundary in my life that states that I will only check Facebook once a day. I get on in the morning, do what I have to do, and I’m off. Done. See you tomorrow Facebook.

This is just one of many artificial boundaries I’ve put in place to help me become a more productive and effective leader. Other suggested areas you could look at include the amount of time you spend watching tv, your eating habits, your time on the web, and your bed time. Before you write me off as a square, legalistic, dreamer who just needs to lighten up a little, let me suggest to you 3 reasons why you should consider implementing artificial boundaries around key distractions and time wasters in to your life:

1. Artificial boundaries don’t put a straight jacket around your life, they actually produce freedom. Creating artificial boundaries frees us up to do the things that God created us to do, and become the people that God created us to be.

2. Creating artificial boundaries frees you up for those things in life that are truly life-giving. How much more time would you have with your spouse, kids, friends, and Jesus if you gave up looking at that 5th YouTube video?

3. Creating artificial boundaries frees you up to be the most effective leader you can be in this short time you are on the earth. You only have one life in which you can influence others toward Jesus. Stop wasting precious time on things that simply don’t matter!

As leaders in our churches and work places, let us be men and women who model how to lead passionate, effective lives for God in the midst of the constant pressures of entertainment and technology. Let us put artificial boundaries in place so that at the end of our tenures, we can look back and know that we spent our time on things that really matter.

Photo Credit: Βethan via Compfight cc

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