I love this photo taken at Newport Beach north of Sydney, Australia. It shows a photographer taking a risk and setting up his camera close to the waves coming ashore. He doesn't want a good photo. He wants an excellent photo.
Life, relationships and church ministry involve risks and setting boundaries.
Tim Challies compiles a list of questions in the article Dating: How Far Is Too Far?
When it comes to the physical component of a dating relationship, how far is too far? Can we hold hands? Can we kiss? Can we do a little bit more than kiss? Should we even explore the physical relationship a little bit to ensure we are compatible?
The Bible reveals that sex outside of marriage is a sin so there is a limit to sexual expression.
Other boundaries Christians must consider is how to minister to criminals and the poor. Does our support enable criminals? Do our acts of charity create greater dependency among the poor?
Jesus befriended tax collectors and prostitutes yet the Bible teaches us, "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'" - 1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
When I was in my twenties, I tried to help someone quit taking illegal drugs. Sometimes my "help" was really a hindrance and enabled bad behavior.
The Bible doesn't give us a clear roadmap for every action we take. Instead we must walk by faith.
Years ago I read a quote from a Christian author that said the only way we can reach our enemies with the Gospel is to lay down our lives for them.
If we lay down our lives, we can get hurt and make embarrassing mistakes. But Jesus commands us to do this, to put our lives at risk.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." - Matthew 16:24 NIV