Chapter 1

Are You Setting Healthy Boundaries?

Healthy Boundaries

Luke 2:49: And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

These are the first recorded words from Jesus’ mouth. And He began by asking not just one question but two questions.  Asking questions was a style of teaching Jesus would frequently use when He began His full-time ministry some 18 years later.  In this study on how to become an effective, faith-based Life Coach, we will be examining several of the questions Jesus asked, and how they were helpful in coaching those who followed Him.


1. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the brink of fulfilling the scriptures and dying for our sins, Peter had the remarkable boldness to rebuke Jesus. Peter did it privately by taking Him aside, yet was confident enough to tell Jesus that He was wrong to consider going to Jerusalem to be killed. There will be people in our lives who try to stop us in our tracks, confident that they are right and we are way off base with our plans and goals.

How did Jesus handle this? (Matt. 16:23)


2. When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, he was trying to turn Jesus away from His divine assignment. There will be people who try to turn our plans in another direction. Jesus’ response to Satan was similar to his response to Peter. 
  a) What did He say? (Matt. 4:10)
  b) If we have prayed about our plans, and feel led by the Lord to continue in the same direction, rather than the direction our friends or family suggest, what could we say or do? (Thought questions – answers will vary.)

3. Read Luke 6:12; Matt. 14:23.
  a) What did Jesus do to ensure He would have quality time with His Father?
  b) What did Jesus tell us to do, to get our own quiet time with the Lord? (Matt. 6:6)
  c) Should we feel guilty about the time we take away from others to spend with the Lord? Why or why not?

4. Jesus never allowed people to pressure Him to hurry up, or to move on down the road so He could minister to them over in their own town. He always finished His work in the town where He was preaching, teaching and healing before traveling to the next town.
  a) Read John 11:1-6.  What was the request sent to Jesus?
  b) Was there any urgency to this request?
  c) How did Jesus respond?

5. From time to time, people will ask baited questions intended to set a trap, to embarrass you, or to imply your silly ideas and plans are nothing but foolishness.
  a) This happened to Jesus as well.  Read Matthew 21:23-27.  What technique did Jesus use with the religious leaders who were trying to make Him look foolish? (vs. 24)
  b) Imagine that you told someone about a new business you were planning to open, and someone you thought was your friend said derisively, “What you are planning, to be the next Michael Gates (or Rockefeller)?”  What might be an appropriate response that could stop the heckling, set up the needed boundary, but be delivered in a respectful manner? (Thought question – answers will vary.)

6. Some people in our lives have a sense of entitlement.  They feel their needs should take priority over whatever you need to do, most often because they are our family.  At times, this is appropriate but other times it is not. Read Matthew 12:46-50.
  a) Did Jesus allow his mother and brothers to use their relationship with Him to pull Him away from the crowd when He was ministering?
  b) How did He handle the potential interruption?

7. Read Mark 1:37-38.  See how Jesus had a singular focus, and didn’t allow others to distract Him from His mission.
  a) What was the demand on Jesus’ time? (vs. 37)
  b) The disciples probably thought Jesus would be pleased at His popularity and would want to stay longer in that town. However, Jesus did not stay in that town and "ride" the crest of His popularity there.  He knew His mission was to preach all across Galilee, and His time was limited.  What did He choose to do instead?

8. Jesus always spoke the truth in love.  He didn’t sugar-coat the truth, or say nothing, to avoid hurting people’s feelings.  He was honest and direct, didn’t allow people to pressure Him into doing things, and didn’t give vague answers.  Instead, He said we should ... (Matt. 5:37)

9. Jesus pointed out the importance of considering your priorities as you set boundaries.  He said, “
  .” (Luke 16:13)

10. Many of us are afraid to set needed boundaries, because we want people to like us.  Jesus warned us not to be people pleasers.  Who is the only One we need to be concerned about pleasing? (John 5:44; Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:4)

11. Too many in ministry tend to overwork and let themselves get rundown or burned out. Jesus didn’t allow Himself to get so caught up in work that He didn’t take care of Himself.
  When He got hungry, He .
  When He got tired, He .
Continue to Chapter 2

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