Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How NOT to Wreck Your Life

Guardrails exist  for our safety and protection - to keep us from driving into a dangerous area or from plunging off a cliff. Now let's think about where these guardrails are. They are not IN the dangerous areas. They are strategically placed BEFORE those places that can really mess us up, right? The purpose of this is to help us avoid potential dangers.

When we look back on some of our own biggest wrecks it becomes obvious that we ignored those guardrails and drove straight towards the cliff. We disregarded the boundaries that were put in place to protect us and found ourselves lying in a pit or wrecked on the side of the road. 

These guardrails are firm boundaries meant to keep us on the road and to keep us from losing control. Wisdom works the same way. When we have a clear understanding of consequences and the positive or negative impact our choices can have, then we can avoid unhealthy situations and steer clear of potential dangers. We need to establish guardrails (boundaries) in our relationships and in our lives as a whole.

Now we all know that certain roads lead to danger zones regardless of our many beliefs or backgrounds. That's why society has made an attempt to set some boundaries and will say things like; "Drink Responsibly". But that's not really a solid guardrail is it? Because when people begin drinking they typically get past the point of being able to discern between what is responsible and what is not, don't they? Without a solid guardrail in place, the difference between responsible and not responsible often gets blurry...literally. So this is a trendy aspiration but it is not really a guardrail. A guardrail is: don't get drunk!

Or what about the equally well-intentioned statement; "Don't have sex until you're ready". Because if you ask most guys I am sure they will tell you that they were born ready! So this is yet another attempt at setting some boundaries but it's not a solid, immovable guardrail. It's not something firmly planted in your conscious. It's certainly not something that is going to keep you safe, physically, emotionally or spiritually. It's important to put up guardrails that won't have you looking back in regret saying; "If only I had not ignored the warnings." 

A guardrail would be to determine for yourself that you will not have friends with benefits, you won't watch pornography, you won't hook up with your boyfriend/girlfriend but that you will hold out for the best and enjoy a loving, lasting, regret-free relationship. Don’t allow yourself to be driven by impulses and appetites. When we let pride, lust and selfishness take the wheel, then we will find not only our own lives wrecked, but the lives of those we hurt along the way. Maybe a guardrail you need to put up in your life is to distance yourselves from people who are corrupting your character. Find friends that want to help you and encourage you to stay on track instead of leading you off the cliff.

There are many different roads we can take in life and it is up to each of us as individuals to decide whether we want to take the road full of potholes that leads to destruction and will totally wreck our lives OR the smooth-paved road that leads to fullness and freedom from regret. A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one. 

It’s important to remember that if you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way and found yourself on a bumpy, dead-end road…it’s NEVER too late to get back on the winning road. Your life is never totaled...there is nothing you can do, no amount of sin that would leave your life un-repairable. There's always hope for restoration through Jesus.

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