Boundaries Are Necessary - The Warrior's Journey®

Boundaries Are Necessary

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

“Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6)

Did you know that the lifetime output of a honeybee is only 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey! That’s all it produces in its entire life – 1/12 of a teaspoon! How can such a poor performance possibly meet the demands of both bees and humans (and bears) for honey?  It can’t. God never meant it to do so. It is by God’s design that the bee’s magnum opus be a mere 1/12 of a teaspoon of precious honey. If God wants the honeybee to satisfy the human race, then He raises up many honeybees to do the job.

Did you also know that a coffee plant only yields coffee beans for 15-20 years of its 60-year lifespan? And its lifetime output is only about 25-30 pounds of coffee beans. That falls far short of the nearly 7 million metric tons that are required every year! But God never intended that one tree handle the job all on its own. It takes the help of millions.

The silkworm can’t do much bragging either. In its entire lifetime it makes but one silk cocoon, yet it takes 3,000 such cocoons to make a single pound of silk. Yet the annual demand for raw silk is 70 million pounds! Thus it takes the help of many silkworms.

God also made us with limitations and we must, therefore, set boundaries for ourselves. But that’s OK. Even Jesus, while He walked the earth, had to set boundaries for what He could and could not do. Here in Matthew 10, Jesus tells His disciples not to go beyond the borders of Israel on their preaching excursion. It was necessary for Jesus to place limits on what He and His disciples should do. Jesus only had three years to train the twelve and focus His ministry on “the lost sheep of Israel.” They took priority – until the Holy Spirit descended on the Day of Pentecost and could multiply the evangelistic work that Jesus had begun.

You see, God never intended for any of us to “be it all” or “do it all.” We are only a member of the Body of Christ and not the whole body. This is the import of Paul’s words in Romans 12:3-4. There Paul tells us not to think of ourselves as more than we really are, since God has only given us a measure (a limited amount) of faith. But God has raised up many members within the body who are to share the work.

So learn to set boundaries for yourself. It’s OK to say “no” to some of the voices that seek your help. God has raised up many to share the work. It’s not all up to you.


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the tasks that cry for your help?

Did Paul say “the sky is the limit” or did he say, “you have a measure of faith”?

While God does not expect you to do everything, He does expect you to do something. What is it that God wants you to do?

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