Boundaries

Somewhere along the journey I call life I have formed a thought process about God that has really been revealed through reading the book, Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.  I have long held a belief that Jesus was longsuffering and somewhat of a doormat with people who he helped to see the light.  Somehow, I had a picture of Jesus waiting around for others and continually going back to the same people. In the book it is said, “All are welcome in the kingdom of Heaven, and yet there will be no unrepentant hearts there.”  This is a clear line that God drew and will never change.

God has been showing me that Jesus again and again raised the bar for those around him. They were willing to step up and see the light and experience His love and grace in abundance, rather than the sting of continued living in sin.  The thought that I am pondering currently is, What if this thought comes from His longsuffering and mercy and grace He has had for me?  Jesus continually has been the rock and fortress for me even though I have made bad choices and selfish choices and have my own personal agenda. I don’t believe that it is healthy to be a doormat for Jesus; we can set the bar high and help those willing to grow, but we can’t do for others what they were meant to do with His help.

This is an excerpt from the book I read over several times: “You cannot change others. More people suffer from trying to change others than from any other sickness. And it is impossible. What you can do is influence others. But there is a trick. Since you cannot get them to change, you must change yourself so that their destructive patterns no longer work on you. Change your way of dealing with them; they may be motivated to change if their old ways no longer work.” So often it seems that the other party is the problem. What I am learning is that I can be part of the solution instead of being a part of the problem, by setting a boundary and sharing with them grace and love.

One of my greatest challenges has been to make my boundaries visible to others. I can have them in my mind and fail to share them verbally. This can be hurtful to others because I have expectations they are not aware of, and they will be continually disappointing me without knowing.  Boundaries should give us the opportunity to strengthen our relationships when they are communicated properly.

I would highly recommend this book and encourage you to set healthy boundaries and watch Jesus move in that obedience.   

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  John 15:12 

This was Jesus speaking, boundaries are set in love, not to harm. Let’s set boundaries that will reflect Jesus in our everyday walks.

 

Wes Miller