Reflections of Grace 44: Living From the Heart, part 7 – Boundaries

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Have you ever made a choice and when the outcome wasn’t so good, blamed the results of your poor choice on someone else?    Boundary violations are about not taking responsibility for our own choices and trying to lay the responsibility of those choices on someone else.

  • How often do we use the phrase, “I HAD to”, or “HE made me do it.”   Whom are we blaming for the circumstances of our lives?
  • Many of us are afraid to set boundaries in our lives for fear of making the wrong choices as if we are powerless over our own behavior.
  • We have good hearts.
  • So, we need to trust our hearts to know when to say no and when to take responsibility for our own choices.  We are not victims.  Whatever our circumstances we can make choices to change ourselves regardless of what others are doing.

We are to love one another, not BE one another.  Learning to respect someone else’s boundaries is vital if we want to know how to take charge of our own lives.

  • We learn to accept other’s freedoms to say no, and not get angry, feel guilty, or remove our love from them.  When we give others room to say no it sets us free as well.

No one wants their boundaries violated. So why do we allow it? Why do we NOT enforce or uphold our boundaries?  The three main answers are:

  1. FEAR of rejection and, ultimately, abandonment.
  2. FEAR of confrontation.
  3. GUILT.

The truth, however, is that if you don’t learn to put up boundaries for yourself and take responsibility for your choices you only enable others to take control in your life.  You will experience the very things you fear the most as a result and the enemy will come in and devour your self-esteem.

  • Establishing healthy boundaries and enforcing them opens the door for you to step into your authentic self with confidence.   You deserve to be authentically liked, loved, and respected.
  • Have you ever been deeply disillusioned by someone whom you thought was a friend but turned out to be a controller or manipulator and when you didn’t comply with their demands they dropped you?  Do you think because we are to seek to love everyone with God’s unconditional love that means you should allow them total access into your life?
  • Actually real genuine love has many boundaries.  To enable someone to treat you with anything less than respect is actually enabling them to continue in sin.  If you put up a boundary and not allow them to disrespect you then you are actually walking in His love with them.
  • We teach people how to treat us by the behavior we accept or not accept from them.  Think about it.

Scripture invites us to develop relationships with other believers, but it also warns us that not all relationships are healthy ones. If we don’t recognize this it could cause many to be trapped in destructive relationships that will not only erode their own walk with God, but also will, in time, project a wariness of others that will make them withdraw from healthy relationships altogether.  This is not God’s will for He says to not forsake the gatherings together with His body.

  • When healthy relationships work well they will encourage us, comfort us through our darkest moments and help us keep our trust in God. There is no treasure greater in this world than sharing that kind of friendship with believers who are committed to God’s work in your lives.

 “Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature.  No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.” John 2: 23-26 NLT

  • Some believers are plagued by relationships where other believers are manipulating and controlling them. Wanting to be humble and open they make room in their lives for the wrong kind of counsel and advice and are overwhelmed with guilt when they can’t satisfy what others expect of them.  The New Testament tells us to love each other deeply, bear with each other through the trials and forgive each other’s faults as they arise, but it also warns us to recognize when relationships turn dark and destructive and to protect ourselves from them.

We need to learn to recognize if the signs that the relationship we’re having with another proclaimed believer is not going to help us grow spiritually. He warns us to step aside from them, not in judgment or anger, but simply so that they will not dominate our spiritual passion or lead us astray.

What are some of these signs?

♥  People who have an obsession with controversy and gossip…they judge others morals while doing the very same things in their own hearts.

♥  People who flatter you with their lips in order to get close to you to glean your very energy because they have no life of their own…when you put up boundaries they are the first to get offended.

♥  People who blame others or pass out lists of things you can do to be a better Christian.  You know you’re with people who are placing their confidence in something other than the work of God himself when you see this.

♥  People who want to take God’s place in your life. You’ll know you’re near one of these when they attempt to force you to choose between submitting to them and doing what you honestly feel that God has put on your heart.

♥  People who take the joy out of everything. Your rosy outlook on life continues to get squashed with negativity. Before you know it, their negativity consumes you and you start looking at things with gray colored glasses yourself

♥  Negative people who every time you have an idea, they tell you why you can’t do it. As you achieve, they try to pull you down. As you dream, they are the first to tell you it is impossible.

♥  People whom you can never give enough to make them happy. They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations of you. They find ways to continually fault you and never take responsibility for anything themselves.

Believers who act destructively are themselves broken and fractured people. If God graces you to stay near them to love them and you can do it without compromising your own relationship with him, by all means do it!  But beware that the relationship doesn’t start taking up all of your energy and distracts you from others that God would have you reach.

  • We must learn to recognize the red flags in our relationships and become bold enough to use our boundaries and know when to say “No, that won’t work for me, thank you.”
  • “It is for freedom He has set us free!!”  Galatians 5:1

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About Jefferson Drexler

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