Summary: This sermon is about the need for guardrails in our lives to protect and direct us. It is an expansion of the sermon series from Andy Stanley's Guardrail series. It looks at Gehazi's failure to establish guardrails in his life and the price he paid,
Guardrails Protect & Direct Part 1
Have you ever gone to school and heard someone say, these new friends of mine are taking me to my role of heroin addiction. Have you ever gone to a housewarming party and heard someone say, “this house is going to lead me to bankruptcy.” Have you ever been at a wedding and heard a person say at the end of their vows, and “I will also cheat on you with someone at work.”
Have you ever been at a graduation party and heard someone say, “this degree is going to help me go to jail.” Have you ever heard someone in church say, “I give my life to Jesus, but I will take it back in a year.” No we probably haven’t heard anyone say those things, and yet they happen in someone’s life every day of the year?
What went wrong? It’s not that they planned these things to happen, they just didn’t do a good enough job of planning for them not to happen. Our new series is entitled guardrails. Most of you passed some guardrails on your way to church this morning, and you probably didn’t pay attention to them at all.
On the road, you will find guardrails on bridges to keep you from going into the river or stream. You will find them on curves to keep you from running off the road. You will find them on the side of the road when there is a steep drop off. You will find them in front of concrete poles that are close to the road. You will find them on medians on the highway to keep you from crossing into the lanes of others and to keep others from crossing into your lane.
Guardrails are there to protect and to direct. They protect us by causing some minor damage to our vehicles and bodies now ,to prevent us from causing some major damage to our vehicles and bodies later. They direct us by standing in our way and alerting us, that we need to make a course correction to avoid having any damage at all.
Guardrails come in all forms in life. A curfew is a guardrail. Being home at 11 is to protect you from what might happen if you stayed out later. A policy of having more than one person count the offering is a guardrail. No texting while driving is a guardrail. The most comprehensive guardrail that we have is God’s word. Think about your greatest regret in life. Could it have been avoided if you had obeyed God’s word when faced with the situation.
Our goal in doing this series is to help us to avoid painful regrets in our lives. Anybody who has ever said, “I wish I had listened” knows the consequences of what happens when we don’t listen. Future regrets can be avoided with guardrails. Our society sees the need for guardrails, when it comes to the highway. They have put them in the best places to minimize the amount of damage to our cars and to ourselves.
Our society does not like guardrails when it comes to our behavior. The book of Judges ends with the verse, “In those days, there was no king in Israel: everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.” Our culture does not want guardrails, it prefers while lines painted on the road, and then pretends to be shocked that terrible things happen when we cross the lines.
Society says be responsible with credit. Then we are told we need to give brand new cars as Christmas gifts, and then are shocked when people embezzle money to be able to do it. Society says, men should respect women. We want to end domestic violence and abuse, and yet we have three different fifty shades movies that we pay to go and watch abuse. Those three movies made 1.2 billion dollar. Our society says, drink responsibly but doesn’t tell us what it means. Our society is alarmed at the number of people killed by drunk driving, and a panel reported on the news that perhaps a new 50 cent increase in the tax on alcohol will reduce the problem.
Jesus didn’t come to change the heart of society. He came to change our hearts, because that’s where the problem begins. He wants us to establish some personal guardrails out of our love for him and our love for our own future. Guardrails let us know that life is connected. If you go beyond this point, bad things are going to happen.
The decisions I make today are going to have an impact on my life tomorrow. Sometimes we as Christians make the mistake of thinking, “God is going to watch over me and make everything better no matter what I do.” We think we are beyond certain temptations and all we have to do is just get up and walk away even if we give in. Walking away is never as easy and as simple as it seems.