Lines in the sand

I admire people who draw lines in the sand. People who have beliefs so deep that those beliefs become convictions of which there is no compromise. I admire these people because I am not one of them. That is, not until yesterday.

For the majority of my 35 years walking this planet, I have far too often chosen the easy road. I have compromised my beliefs for momentary pleasure even if it meant contradiction to those beliefs. I have chosen indulgence over integrity.

My good friend Dave Ramsey often says to his listeners that, under no circumstance, will he ever borrow money again. Paying cash for everything is such a virtue in his life that he will not compromise.

His line in the sand was drawn out of pain (as most are), experiencing bankruptcy at a young age and feeling the immense burden of being a borrower, especially one who wasn’t able to pay his debts when the notes were called. It created such a deep wound that he made the decision he would never go into debt ever again, which meant he would pay cash for everything for the rest of his life.

So what are your lines in the sand? Have you ever made any? More importantly, have you ever told anyone what they are? The great thing about drawing lines in the sand is that they are your lines, and they will probably be different than mine. The only criteria is that our lines must be moral and must not harm anyone else.

Dave’s lines mainly have to do with finance because that’s where his wound was the deepest. Mine have to do mainly with food and debt, so here are some of my lines in the sand:

1. I will not eat candy.
2. I will not drink soda.
3. I will not borrow money, except for a home mortgage.

The scary thing about sharing your lines in the sand with others is that it gives them the opportunity to hold you accountable. Embrace this, don’t be afraid of it. When others know what you stand for, it will be a constant reminder to you of the lines you have drawn, and it will help you stay on track.

Take some time today, decide what your lines in the sand are going to be drawn, write them down on a piece of paper, and share them with those in your life. This is a powerful step in taking control of your life and becoming the person you want to be, someone others will admire.

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