Boundaries: Freedom to Play the Game of Life

“Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8

 In a few days, March Madness will begin!

It is a time of year where die-hard basketball fans like me get to enjoy the crazy, live or die, win-or-go-home tournament of all tournaments. I’ve been enjoying this hoops spring madness since I was about 8 years old! I love it!

For me the beauty of basketball is its simplicity. Five players against five other players, a ball and two hoops. There is tons of complexity and strategy in the game. The players are pouring out every ounce of energy they have to get a win. When the game is played really well, it looks like a symphony in motion.  It’s a little bit of sports heaven to me!

Next weekend, I will be teaching a workshop called BOUNDARIES:  THE ATMOSPHERE OF AGAPE.  Boundaries are like the rules of the game of basketball, or the rules of any sport. They are not the object of the game. They are not the focus of the game. Boundaries simply provide the structure, order and fairness so the players are free to play the game. Boundaries provide freedom for the players.

Boundaries in life are the same way. They provide us with the “rules of how life works.”  Boundaries are not meant to be a restrictive hindrance to our lives. Boundaries are God’s loving guidance and wisdom for how to live and love in this life. Boundaries from Scripture tell us how to enjoy peace, joy and loving relationships. Boundaries are meant to set us free.

I went to college at the same time as the guy in the picture above, Michael Jordan. I watched him do things with a basketball that took your breath away. He went on to win an NCAA men’s basketball championship and six, yes six, NBA titles as well with the Chicago Bulls. He was one of the most fluid and natural basketball players to ever lace up sneakers.

I keep thinking about how wonderful it would be if each of us could learn to play the game of life as freely and passionately as MJ played the game of basketball. I think it’s possible. But to live that freely we will first need to learn the rules of the game, the boundaries, of life is played.  If we learn them well, we may find the freedom to play the game of life at a high level.

Boundaries are really about sowing and reaping. Our scripture this week is about boundaries. The principle of sowing and reaping takes all the cheating out of life’s game. You will reap what you sow. If you take too many steps without dribbling, you will be called for traveling. If you hit a shooting player on the arm, you will be called for a foul. It’s how the game is played. Those are the rules.

I have begun to discover a freedom in life that I never knew was possible. God’s love and life are meant to flow to us and to overflow to others. God wants to show us truth, the truth that sets us free. Boundaries can help us find that freedom.

Come join me in learning what freedom feels like in this beautiful thing called life. Boundaries are a key to finding that freedom. Invite a friend to join us in this life-giving process. I can’t promise you will win a national championship, but I can promise that there’s more freedom out there than you are experiencing now.  God promises us abundant life in John 10:10. Let’s learn how to live that abundant life. Boundaries can help us.

Let the Madness begin!

Pastor Tom

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