September 15 – A Line in the Sand. . . and Ten Steps Back

Let your way in life be far from her, and come not near the door of her house [avoid the very scenes of temptation], lest you give your honor to others and your years to those without mercy, lest strangers [and false teachings] take their fill of your strength and wealth and your labors go to the house of an alien [from God] Proverbs 5:8-10 AMP

“No” is naturally hard for me to form my mouth to say. And unfortunately, that one inability has cost me dearly over the years in time, talent and tenacity. For those who have a similar struggle, maybe you will agree that when you go along just because you don’t want to make anyone upset, you ultimately can become that way yourself!

Claudius (of course that’s not his real name!) was a childhood friend I met through some distant relatives. We were both about ten and full of gusto. I had rules to abide by and he didn’t. Granted, it gets hot in West Texas in the summer, but I would have never conjured up the notion to go swimming at the downtown Hilton! Claudius did. Here we were, two little “chocolate drops” in cut off jeans trying to slip past a Valet in the middle of the af-ternoon, unnoticed.

Thankfully, we got caught before we got in the hotel or I really, really would have been embarrassed. I was so mad, I could have punched him in the nose. But since he was obviously crazy, I just agitatedly grumbled, “I thought you did this all the time and we weren’t going to get in trouble?” His response made an indelible mark on me that would last a life time. “We didn’t get in trouble; we just need to go back when that guy isn’t there.”

For the wayward soul, right and wrong is relative. And often, they are so desensitized to the laws of cause and effect; they can’t even correlate them with the outcome.

That day I decided I wasn’t okay with being in trouble or being embarrassed, so I started paying attention to the buddies I was hanging out with. And if or when some crazy stuff started “cooking,” little Lorenzo got to “booking!” (i.e., I ran away really fast!)

For me, that’s what today’s Proverb is all about. Boundaries are a necessity and everybody needs some. But with them, it’s a good idea to know where they start and back up a good distance. That way, your name isn’t able to be associated with the drama.

If you’re not standing by the fence, you won’t be as tempted to open the gate!

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