Summary: Your friends will influence and possibly determine the direction and the quality of your life.

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We’re in the second part of this series Guardrails, and if you were here last week, or if

you joined us online last week, we talked about physical guardrails. Guardrails are things we

don’t pay much attention to and we don’t really think about them until we hit one. When we hit

one, it’s probably because we needed one. Now, you’ve seen guardrails your whole life and

you’ve avoided guardrails your whole life, but you probably didn’t know the definition, so I

want to give you the official definition of a guardrail because it sets us up for this entire series. A

guardrail is a system designed—system is a key word—it’s a system designed to keep vehicles

from straying (big word there), from straying into dangerous or off-limit areas. That’s what a

guardrail does. A guardrail is designed to take the impact, and in taking the impact, damage your

car, and in some cases damage your body. But the idea of a guardrail is to keep the damage from being as bad as it could have been and should have been. Because guardrails are placed on

dangerous parts of the road, bridges, intersections, curves, and oftentimes medians when we’re

close to oncoming traffic. The whole idea of a guardrail is to create a small accident to protect

you from a worse accident.

Now, the other interesting thing about guardrails (we talked about this last week) is that

guardrails are never placed in the danger zone. Guardrails are always placed two or three feet or

two or three yards away from the danger zone. In other words, if you were to rip up all the

guardrails in this city, it would give you extra space to drive, but unfortunately would put you

too close to what somebody considered a danger zone. You always find guardrails actually

within the realm of safety. So we began to ask the question last week, what would it look like to

have guardrails in other areas of our lives? What if there were guardrails in our relationships?

What if we had financial guardrails? What if we had guardrails in terms of our dating, our

morality, how we did business, our ethics, our reputation? What if we began to establish some

mental guardrails that, again, kept us a safe distance back from disaster relationally, disaster

financially, disaster in our business, disaster in our ethics or our morality? What would that look


So we came up with our own definition of a guardrail as it relates to this particular

discussion. Here’s the new definition: A guardrail, in our discussion, is going to be a standard of

behavior, or you could even say a personal standard of behavior, that becomes a matter of

conscience—a personal standard of behavior that becomes a matter of conscience. So here’s my

goal for you in this series. I want you to personally begin to develop some behaviors, some

personal behaviors, which function as guardrails. By guardrail in our discussion I mean that

become a matter of conscience, that instead of doing things that you know are wrong and

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