Guard Rails- Direct and Protect

SERIES OVERVIEW Guardrails are everywhere, but they don’t really get much attention . . . until somebody hits one. And then, more often than not, it is a lifesaver.

When I was growing up in Long Island, Bahamas, we has a bunk bed with rails. I am sure you can guess what they were for. Yes, they were designed to stop one of us from falling out of the bed and ending up with serious injuries.Maybe you don’t know anything about bunk-beds.
On the highways we often see guard rails on bridges, medians, curves, and soft shoulders. They are on bridges because there is little room for error. They are in the medians to protect us from oncoming traffic. Of course, they are on soft shoulders and curves to alert us to sudden changes in the driving pattern. Guardrails are  placed in the safety zone; not the danger zone. They direct us and protect us. Guardrails is a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous and of-limit areas. They prevent us from having a possible head -on collision or falling into a ditch and causing serious damage to both our car and ourselves.
Guardrails are designed to minimize damage. If we hit a guardrail, we might have to take the car to the garage for repairs but we might not have to visit the emergency room or stay in the hospital and accumulate serious medical bills.
But the highways and roadways are not the only places we need guardrails. Isn’t true that your deepest regret could possibly have been avoided or minimized, if you had established some personal guardrails in your life – in your finances, your relationships, your profession, in your marriage? Further, future regrets can be avoided if you set up some personal guardrails in your life starting today.
Notice: Personal guardrails are standards of behavior that become a matter of conscience. They are personal rules that light up your conscience when you bump into them. Like on the highway, they are placed in the safety zone. They warn you before you mess up your relationship or our career, that you are headed for danger,
The problem we face is our culture despises guardrails. It is not comfortable with them. Culture would rather promote painted lines where we have the option to crossover at will. It tells us to “drink responsibly” or “have sex when you are ready?”  However, even though culture dismisses guardrails and baits you to the edge of disaster, it is quick to shame and mock us when we cross the line and fall into the ditch in our finances or our relationships. It throws you under the bus when your marriage goes South off the cliff into the abyss.
Wise King Solomon gives us some great advice relating to guardrails. In Proverbs 22:3 (NCV) he writes, ” The wise see danger ahead and avoids it, but fools keep going and get into trouble.” Guardrails don’t just keeps us from doing wrong, they keep us on the side of wisdom.
Is the action I am about to take has wisdom’s approval? In light of my past experiences, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do? Hey, are you living on the edge? Flirting with disaster? It might be wise to set up some safeguards, don’t you think?
 In this 6-part series, we will explore how to  be wise and stop flirting with disaster and establish some personal guardrails in our lives. While culture may not celebrate you and friends my ridicule and despise you if you opt for the establishment of guardrails,you will stay in the safe zone and avoid the pitfalls, ravines, and ditches along your path.
Please check back next week are we answer the question: Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

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