Sermon:
We’re in week three of this series, Guardrails, and we’re really excited about this. Just a
heads up. Next week Sandra is going to come and we’re going to tag-team preach, so you won’t
want to miss next week. Essentially, she’s going to correct everything I’ve said for the first three
weeks in the series. We’re thinking maybe we should do that every series, just have her kind of
come up at the end. I’m just kidding. It’s going to be a lot of fun, so you won’t want to miss that.
If you’re thinking about bringing friends, next week will be very entertaining; so don’t miss that.

The whole point of this series—we know what guardrails are, but essentially they’re a
system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous (and that’s the key word), into
dangerous, or off-limit areas. We said just like a guardrail accomplishes something for us when
we’re driving, we asked the question, I wonder what it would look like to have guardrails in
other areas of our lives.

The interesting thing about a guardrail is that a guardrail is actually placed in a safe zone
to keep us from going into an unsafe zone. Guardrails aren’t in the area of danger; guardrails are
always a few feet or a few yards inside the area of danger. So again, we asked the question, what
would it look like to have guardrails in other areas of our lives? We came up with our own
definition of a guardrail just for this series, and here’s what it is: A guardrail is a standard of
behavior—that’s a behavior you choose—a standard of behavior that becomes a matter of
conscience. The idea being that you would choose behaviors for yourself that would keep you a
few feet or a few yards away from disaster, whether it’s financially, or in your friendships, or
morally, in your dating relationships, in your thought life—whatever it might be, and that as you
recognize there are lines out there that “Once I cross them, there’s a consequence; that once I
cross them, there’s a penalty; that once I cross them, I hurt the people I love the most.” As you
recognize those lines, that you would step back from the line and establish a guardrail for
yourself. And a guardrail would simply be a behavior that you would decide, “I’m never going to
do this in order to keep me from doing that,” and that this would become so clear to you that it
would send bells and whistles and red flags waving—that it would become a matter of
conscience. That is, that you would feel bad if you actually bumped into a guardrail you’ve
established.

The temptation, of course, in life is to live right on the edge of disaster financially, get as
much debt as you can, live right on the edge of disaster morally, live right on the edge of disaster
in terms of friendships, and your thought life, or the Internet, or any