boundaries technology

Develop External Boundaries, Part 2

Rumble Strips

I still remember one night, this was before Alisha & I had kids, we were on a late night road trip driving home. It was after midnight & we were both sleepy. We had stopped & bought caffeine to drink & snacks to keep us awake. We had the windows down & the music turned up.

But even with all that, we were finding it hard to stay awake on the long road trip home that night. As the clocked rolled on to 1 AM, to 2 AM, it was getting harder & harder to keep our concentration on the road. To be honest, it wasn’t safe. And after that night I don’t think we’ve been on the road that late again. But do you know what we heard every time the car started to drift a little to the side of the road?

We heard that noise your tires make when it hits those bumps on the side of the road. You know what I’m talking about?

They’re called “Rumble Strips.”

And anytime the tires of your car hit these Rumble Strips, you feel it, you feel the vibration, & you hear it. The sound wakes you up, gets your attention & you’re able to get your car back on track.

I don’t know who invented Rumble Strips. But how many lives do you think those bumps on the side of the road have saved?

Guard Your Heart

In my last post, I talked about the importance of having boundaries in your life, guardrails, so that you can “guard your heart” as the writer of Proverbs once said.

Do you have guardrails to protect you from going places you don’t want to go?

Do you have Rumble Strips in your life?

Are you guarding your heart?

All of this is important. In fact, your life depends on it.  Your marriage depends on it.  Your family deepens on it.  Your connection to God & to others depends on it.

So what do you need to “guard your heart” from?

SIN

For some of us… it may be that when it comes to our technology & how we use our devices that we need to guard our hearts from straight up SIN.

You know what the problem is. You know what apps are tempting you. You know what websites are causing you problems. Let’s be clear, whenever you go to those places on your devices, you are not making a mistake. You are making a choice. A mistake is an accident. A mistake is when you trip & break a lamp. A choice is when you knowingly choose what you’re about to do, you know it’s wrong & you do it anyway. We call that choice to do the wrong thing SIN.

If you’re struggling with SIN when it comes to your devices… let me strongly encourage you to GUARD YOUR HEART. You are what you eat. What you take in, no matter what it is, will transform you for better or worse. Maybe it’s time to put up some guardrails in your life around your heart.

And let me just say, there are some wonderful technological guardrails & you should use those. We use those in our home. We use things like the Open DNS filter. We use the Disney Circle. Parents, you may want to watch this to get a few more ideas to help manage screen time in your home.  There are MANY great filters, apps & devices you can use to set up guardrails around your technology to protect you from making sinful choices. But you I both know there are ways around all those things. The best guardrails are always people. Having people in your life who love you & who serve as guardrails are the best guardrails. We share our passwords & allow each other access to our devices at any time.

What do you need to guard your heart from?

DISTRACTIONS

For some of us… it may be that when it comes to our technology & how we use our devices that we need to guard our hearts from DISTRACTIONS.

Let’s be honest, some of you are too distracted to be in deep relationship with God or with others. We said this a couple of weeks ago, this is not about being ANTI-technology. This is about being PRO-relationship.

But some of you will allow every ding, beep & buzz of your phone to distract you from the person right in front of you. You allow yourself to be a victim of constant interruption. The problem is that you can’t have depth of relationship with God or with another person if you’re constantly interrupted.

What are the guardrails you need to put up so you can have distraction free interactions with the people in your life, especially the people who matter most? Is it time to turn your notifications off? Is it time to limit when you check email, or social, or other things? Is it time to allow yourself to be bored with people so you can have the opportunity for deep & meaningful relationships & conversations?

What do you need to guard your heart from?

DIGITAL JUNK FOOD

For some of us… it may be that when it comes to our technology & how we use our devices that we need to guard our hearts from Digital Junk Food, aka Meaningless Content. Maybe it’s time to realize that there is a difference between digital content that feeds your soul & digital content that does not.

Here’s a quick article one friend shared with me about this idea.

Our devices, especially in the areas of social media, are designed to suck us in & not let us come up for air. The content is endless but it does not feed us. It does not nourish our hearts, our souls, our minds. Maybe it’s time we put up guardrails around our hearts to protect us from over consumption of digital junk food! It’s not that having a milkshake now & then is bad! It’s not! But if that’s all you eat you might have a problem!

Transformed

This much is true…

What you TAKE in will TRANSFORM you.

What you allow into your heart will absolutely transform you into it’s image. You will become more & more like what you consume.

That’s why some of you who consume endless hours of news are living in absolute fear. News outlets know this, they know that if they can hype up the fear you will keep watching. If you watch the news long enough, you’ll become very afraid & you might even loose confidence in the God who over & over again throughout scripture said, “Do not be afraid.”

That’s why some of you who consume hours of social media are always depressed. You’re filling your heart with snapshots of everyone else’s highlight reel & you feel like your life just doesn’t compare. The truth is, no one’s life is all highlights, but it looks that way when you look at their social feed. If you spend enough time on social media playing the comparison game you’ll always loose & feel lost, depressed & alone & you might even forget the God who created you loves you, accepts you just the way you are & loves to bless you everyday.

What do you want to be transformed into? Allow the answer to that question to determine what you take in this week.

It may be that you need to look at your battery settings & delete the top two or three apps that are consuming your time. If nothing else, that will tell you what you are fixing your eyes & your thoughts on. And it may be that you need to fix your eyes & your thoughts on something different for a while.

It may be that you need to set up some new guardrails so that you can be transformed into something different. This is a great week to put those guardrails in place. Remember, the best guardrails are people. And we all need guardrails to help us stay on track & keep our eyes & thoughts fixed on the right things.

The writer of Hebrews said it this way,

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.” Hebrews 12.2, The Message

When we TAKE in more & more of Jesus, we are transformed more more into the image of Jesus!

And when we TAKE in Christ, when we parTAKE in the community of Christ, we will be transformed.

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.