boundaries guardrails

Develop External Boundaries, Part 1

Junk Food, Boundaries & Technology?

When I was a kid, I remember the day at school that they taught us about nutrition. They showed us a picture of the food pyramid & tried to encourage us to eat healthy food & not as much of what they called junk food.

Now, I don’t know who’s idea it was to call some of my favorite foods junk! But I would like to suggest that we drop the name calling!

I know why we call it junk food, because things like Coke, candy bars & potato chips are not necessarily good for you.

Here’s the other thing they taught us, they said, “You are what you eat.” Have you ever heard that saying before?

We understand how this works… What we eat matters. What we allow into our bodies matters. And for better or worse, we are what we eat. We become like what we eat.

So, generally speaking, if the majority of what we consume are junk foods, then our bodies will reflect that!

Now I’m no doctor or nutritionist, but generally speaking, if we eat healthy foods like fresh fruit, salad, protein, etc… then our bodies will reflect those choices as well.

How much do you consume?

What we take in to our bodies, no matter what it is, will transform us for better or worse. This principle is true. When it comes to food, we may not like it, but we cannot deny it!

So here’s the question I want you to think about today…

What do junk food & technology have in common?

I’m not sure if you’ve ever thought about this… but you & I consume a lot of technology every day. Just think about it. From tv, movies, music & gaming to our apps for news, weather, social media to books, podcasts, & videos of cats… we consume a lot of media on any given day.

When you think about what you’re consuming during a typical day or week when it comes to technology & media, how much of that is “healthy” & how much of that is “junk food?”

You see, I think this is another subtle problem we’re experiencing when it comes to technology that is largely going unnoticed. We haven’t thought about it. It’s like we’re asleep at the wheel when it comes to our technology & how we use it & how we CONSUME it.

If you have an iPhone, try this. Go to your Settings, then scroll down to Battery, touch that & you should see what percentage of your battery has been spent on what apps. It will show you at the top which apps have consumed the most energy, & probably the most time.

Some of you just hid your screens or turned them off really quick so no one could see where you’ve been spending your time! Busted!

Here’s the point: What does your battery usage tell you about the health of your technology diet?

What does that tell you about where your spending your time on your phone? Are those “healthy” things? Or would those fall in the “junk food” category?

So what do we do about this problem?

I know what general wisdom says… When you find yourself eating too much junk food, when you’re ready to loose the weight, when you’re ready to get healthy you have to make changes. You have to make pre-determined decisions about what you will eat & what you won’t eat.

To think about it another way, we have to put certain BOUNDARIES in place to help keep us on track.

Just to change metaphors for a moment, we’ve all seen guardrails along the side of the interstate when we’re driving. Have you ever really thought about what those guardrails are designed to do? It’s really pretty simple. They’re designed to keep your car on track, to keep your vehicle from going places you don’t want to go!

So if you veer off the road for any reason, you’ll hit those guardrails. It may damage your vehicle, but it could save your life. Guardrails really serve two purposes, to protect you & to remind you of the danger that’s on the other side.

If you want to eat healthier, you have to put guardrails in place, protective boundaries in place, to help you eat & live a healthier lifestyle.

And here’s what I want to suggest today, if you want to be “healthier” when it comes to the technology you consume, you & I need guardrails in place, boundaries in place, to help us, protect us & potentially save our lives, our marriages, our families from breaking apart.

Guardrails

Here’s the way scripture talks about it in Proverbs 4.23

“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.”

Your heart determines the direction of your life. Actually, that’s not entirely true… What you allow INTO your heart, what you allow your heart to CONSUME, what you allow to FILL your heart will determine the direction of your life.

If you’ve filled your heart with the right things, if you’ve allowed the right things to come into your heart, then more than likely your life will be headed in the right direction!

BUT…

if you’ve allowed your heart to be filled with things that are not good, that are not from God, if you’ve consumed more junk food than healthy food when in comes to what you’ve allowed into your heart & soul, when it comes to your digital diet, then more than likely you’ll find your life off the road in the ditch.

WHY?

Because… What you allow into your will heart determine the direction of your life.

We know that on some level, the old saying is true — You are what you eat.

The same is true when it comes to your soul.

What you TAKE into your heart, no matter what it is, will TRANSFORM your heart for better or for worse.

This is why the wise writer of Proverbs 4 says… “GUARD your heart!”

You have to have guardrails up around your heart to keep your heart on track & to protect your heart from those things that would bring you harm.

Chances are, we all need to develop external boundaries to remind us & protect us, to help us guard our hearts & keep our eyes fixed on the right things.

So find ways today to guard your heart. Because you are being transformed by something. Let’s choose what we allow into our hearts that will determine the direction of our lives.

To hear this series click to watch or to listen.

I serve as the Preaching Minister at Riverside Church of Christ in Coppell, TX. I enjoy sports, running, fishing & life with the family. I’ve been in ministry since 1999. My wife Alisha & I have three amazing children, Will, Ella Grace & Emma Love. Thanks for stopping by my blog.