Barriers vs. Boundaries

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This past Saturday, I spent some time with a few graduate students at Belmont University to share about my experiences in leadership. Over the next few days, I will be posting a few of those points.

Remove barriers and install boundaries.

By human nature, realized or not, intentional or not, we put up barriers between ourselves and others. When we feel threatened on any level, we create these emotional, mental, and spiritual roadblocks. We decide to “close roads” keeping someone from getting to us again.

Certainly, there are a small percentage of times when this is right and necessary, but all too often, these are created solely for our own benefit, comfort, or biases. Most often not out of justice, but from judgment.

Leaders will work to remove barriers and keep roads open.

The better and more effective work is to install boundaries of protection when and where necessary to protect relationship with God and others.

What’s the difference in the two?

A barrier is anything keeping progress from being made. Shrinking our influence. Removing barriers to make progress is establishing a good offense.

A boundary is a line you draw to protect your walk with God or relationship with others. This is not about restriction, but freedom. This is establishing a good defense.

Barriers are all about us. Boundaries are all about God and others.

For he himself is our peace, … and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. —Ephesians 2:14 NIV

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. —Psalm 16:6

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