Summary: We are finishing up this 6-part series.

We are finishing up this 6-part series. If you’re ready for us to move on, we’re moving on

after this. We’re pretty excited about this, and as we wrap up, for those of you who have not been

with us for any of this series, I want to review really quickly. The title of the series is Guardrails.

Essentially, we’ve taken the idea of a guardrail and built a spiritual principle out of it. We’ll see

how well we do. Here’s what a guardrail is. You know this part. A guardrail is a system designed

to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous, or off-limit areas. We all know what a guardrail

is. The guardrail is actually placed in an area that’s safe to drive to keep us from going into

places that are unsafe to drive. A guardrail is always placed a few feet or a few yards away from

the area of danger. Guardrails are designed to cause a little bit of damage in order to keep you

from experiencing a lot of damage. We all know that on the other side of guardrails are places

that we shouldn’t go.

So, we asked the question a few weeks ago: What would it look like to create guardrails

or to establish guardrails in other areas of our lives? What would it look like to have financial

guardrails? What would it look like to have moral guardrails? What would it look like to have

guardrails that help us with our friendships or our marriage—academic, professional—just any

arena of life? What if we were to establish some guardrails that kept us back from the edge of

disaster, whatever that might be? So, we came up with our own definition, and here’s the

definition we’ve been using. A guardrail is a standard of behavior, or a standard of personal

behavior (which means you make these up yourself), a standard of personal behavior that

becomes a matter of conscience.

And the matter of conscience part is a little bit tricky. The idea is that you would create a

standard. You would say, In this area of my life, this is as far as I’m going to go. And you would

make that decision so personal that when you violated it or began to violate your own personal

standard, your conscience would light up and say, “Warning, warning, warning! You’re moving

towards something dangerous.” A personal standard of behavior that nobody else may subscribe

to, a personal standard of behavior that’s your own personal standard, but you’re so committed to

it that you actually feel guilty because your conscience lights up. You actually feel guilty when

you begin to violate your personal standard, the idea being to create some guardrails that keep us

away from disaster.

The thing we’ve said every single week is this (and this is never going to change), our

culture baits us to the edge of disaster in several areas, and then mocks us once we step over

certain lines. Our culture baits us to the edge of disaster financially—buy, buy, buy, buy now,

zero down, you can pay for it for the rest of your life, no one’s ever going to come bother you.

It’s just going to be great. And then you get yourself in a lot of debt and then the culture goes,

You’re pretty irresponsible. Look at all that consumer debt. Oh, that credit card debt. Nobody

wants to marry you. You’re a loser. It’s like, Wait a minute. I just did what you told me to do.

Well, sorry. That’s culture, right? Culture baits us to the edge of disaster morally, relationally, in

our marriages, and then we step over certain lines and people are going, Oh, you’re gross; you’re just disgusting, ugh. So the question is, again, how do you manage that? So that’s never going to

change, so we’ve said what if we establish some guardrails.

We’ve talked about every area. We’ve talked about finances; we’ve talked about moral

guardrails, talked about friendships—all kinds of stuff. Today as we wrap up, I want to address

the big pushback to all of this. If you haven’t been with us, I’m not going to give you much more

context than I’ve already given you. You can go online and listen or watch these for free. But if

you’ve been with us, I want to talk specifically about why we don’t do this. Because chances are,

if you’ve been in this series, you’ve had sort of two tracks running. One track is, I hope my

wife’s listening. One track is, “I’ve got to get a copy of this for my kids.” I’ve heard that so

many times. “I’ve got a get a copy of this.” In fact, a good friend of mine said this morning, “My

kids are young; I’m going to get a copy of this and save it for when my kids are older.” “I hope

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