I think it’s fair to say that most people aren’t ever taught the importance of having personal boundaries. Proper parenting involves setting limits (rules) for children, school and the workplace have policies and rules but unfortunately the average person doesn’t learn about personal boundaries until they’ve been hurt by not having any.
Self preservation is not selfish. It is very important to have an inner confidence (sense or knowing) of what is okay and not okay when it comes to ourselves. Having healthy boundaries is learning how to own our personal “yes” and own our personal “no”.
Boundaries look different depending upon what kind it is.
You may have a work boundary and decide that Saturday is family day and you are not doing any work related things on a Saturday, period. You may have a personal communication boundary that if someone is hostile or swearing, you will not participate in the discussion until the tone of voice and language can be respectful.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but take sometime to think about all the areas you have in your life and what the limits are. Do you even have limits or do you just go with the flow even when the flow is trying to drown you? Have the courage and strength to see yourself as the valuable creation God created you to be. Have confidence in your worth and know deep down on the inside that you are worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.
Don’t confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence is an attitude. Excellence is a conscious effort to not cut corners, do things in proper order, and give things your best effort every time you put your hands to it. Excellence is going the extra mile.
“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” Matthew 5:41 NKJV
For the believer it is so important to adapt an attitude of excellence because we represent the Kingdom of God upon the earth and nothing chases folks away from God faster then a bad witness.
I once worked for an extremely large company and there were lots of people who identified as believers that worked there but more who did not. The better employees for the most part (not all, but most) were people who weren’t believers.
Believers were often late, took longer breaks, and spent way more time tending to personal things while on the clock (phone calls, text messages) then the other employees. When they would get corrected or disciplined they’d often blame the devil and the demonic spirit that was rising up against them without ever acknowledging their own behavior.
As a representation of God our actions and behavior serve as a witness every time we step out in public. We should be the BEST employees at our jobs, the people who do what they pay us for, the people that are on time, etc. This is a matter of integrity. When you agree to take a job, you are agreeing to follow the policy and do what’s in your job description. So many people neglect this and don’t realize to the non-believer they are being a bad witness. Why would anyone want to serve the God of the guy who’s always on his phone and late to work?
An attitude of excellence isn’t just for the workplace. Every time you step in to a public place your attitude, actions, and behavior absolutely matter and matter even more so at home. This isn’t a matter of perfection, this is a matter of us reflecting the image of an Almighty God to a world that is in desperate need of His love. Don’t be the kind of witness that pushes people away from God, be the person that goes the extra mile in excellence so people want to know about the God you serve. He is so faithful that if you put fourth the effort? He is quite capable of drawing people to Himself through you so don’t worry, He always has the hardest part under control.