YOUR LIFE IS A GIFT FROM GOD TO YOU. IT HAS INFINITE VALUE TO HIM, WHICH HE COMMUNICATES TO YOU IN ALL THE MANY WAYS HE LOVES YOU.
Powerlessness, irresponsibility, and lack of boundaries in relationships are all rooted in failing to value your life as He does. Conversely, honoring God’s value for your life will lead you to be responsible for protecting it and cultivating it.
Healthy relationships grow between people who have embraced their individual responsibility to tend their own gardens.
Yes, both come to the relationship with needs, and participate in meeting one another’s needs. But it is a simple economic principle that each of them must be healthy and fruitful in order to continue offering resources to one another to meet each other’s needs.
In other words, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else.
If you have ever been on a plane, you have been subjected to the flight attendants’ spiel about what to do if the cabin loses pressure. They explain that oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling and show you how to put them on. Every time, they remind you that if you are traveling with a child or someone else in need of assistance, you must be sure to put your mask on before you try to help anyone else. The implication is clear. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you won’t be able to care for anyone else. You’ll be lying unconscious in the aisle.
The lesson of the oxygen mask exposes the flawed thinking many people have about what it means to serve and love others. For some reason, people think that taking care of yourself means being selfish.
YES, IT’S TRUE THAT YOU CAN CULTIVATE YOUR GARDEN AND THEN CHOOSE TO KEEP ALL YOUR FRUIT TO YOURSELF.
I know people who wrongly use boundaries to be independent and withhold their lives from others instead of using them to protect their ability to sustain fruitfulness, generosity, and the exchange of life in covenant relationships. Self-protection is not a good motivation for taking care of yourself, and will create problems in your relationships.
￼But you will create just as many problems if you don’t tend your garden. You’re going to have to get food from somewhere, and it will have to be someone else’s food.
Not taking care of yourself actually puts you in the powerless position of trying to get other people to meet your needs without being able to offer anything in return. This is a setup for an unhealthy, selfish relationship.
￼IF YOU TRULY WANT TO BE LOVING AND UNSELFISH, YOU WILL TAKE THE TIME AND EFFORT TO GET YOUR GARDEN PRODUCING THE BEST FRUIT POSSIBLE SO YOU CAN OFFER SOMETHING VALUABLE TO OTHERS.
You will invest in learning all there is to know about the garden God has given you—from your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health to your education, talents, gifts, callings, finances, relationships, and more—and how to make it flourish.
And as you share your life with others, you will be doing what you need to do to protect and sustain your garden’s productivity so that your health and the health of your relationships are not threatened.
PS) I’ve been blown away by the responses we’re getting from the launch of the Life Academy this week! Thank you to those who have become members. I’m very much looking forward to continuing to walk with you.
To those interested in joining us but haven’t yet, learn more or sign-up here.