“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
2 Corinthians 7:1
A lack of boundaries can allow others to walk all over you. If you are a person who likes to help others and lets others’ needs dictate your schedule and worries, this may be your every day life! Why do others keep asking you to go out of your way to fix their issues or fill in for their mistakes/poor planning? Your generousity may communicate to people that you are ok with the way they treat you. Helping isn’t bad- it is a gift!- but allowing others to take advantage of that gift IS bad.
Setting healthy limits for the way others treats you communicates that you are valued and worthy, and people should treat you accordingly. Choosing to live up to others’ expectations of you is idolatry (not to mention exhausting!) Anytime we value the approval of someone else more than we do God’s approval, we are actually worshiping them. If we want to purify our hearts and live in reverence for God, we need to stop letting others run the show and let God do what He does best: Be in charge.
1.) What are the far reaching consequences of your lack of boundaries? Think about society as a whole, your work place, and your extra-curricular activities.
2.) Think about your daily interactions with others. Are you in charge of you, or are you letting others dictate your feelings, stresses, and schedule? How is that shaping your current lifestyle?
3.) We can be overwhelmed by all the ways we are “missing the mark.” God doesn’t keep track of our wrongs, and I believe God wants to write you a letter today expressing the areas you are NAILING! Sit quietly with no agenda other than hearing how He sees you. Write it down.
At work when you first start acquiescing to requests it feels normal, even good. Then months later you come to the realization that working through lunch is a direct result of becoming the go-to Doormat! And it’s hard to start saying no!
Erica Willis says
It’s hard to start, but feels great once you have established them over time. Your life will finally have breathing room! 🙂
I feel like this was written just for me. I have been working on this for quite some time. I’m saying no a lot more. I’m learning to rennet that no is a complete sentence. It needs no explanation but I do see people taking offense so I find myself giving an explanation anyway. I need to be more aware of what my responsibility is and what I’m not responsible FOR. HOWEVER, What I can’t get past is this, am I doing it because I value their approval more than Gods? I always felt like by me helping I was actually pleasing God. I always felt like it’s what he would want me to do? Help me find clarity on this complex matter!
Erica Willis says
Great question! We are sometimes confused between something “good” and something from “God.” While it may be a good action to take- helping a neighbor, giving money to someone in need, sacrificing for another- it doesn’t mean that God is asking you to do it. Learning to tell the difference between good and God is how we mature in our faith. For example,food and eating is good, but that doesn’t mean that all food is good, neither is eating all the time. Does that make sense? So when we see a need or an opportunity to serve/give, we ask God what He would like us to do. I have said “yes” to things that didn’t make sense with my boundaries, and “no” to things that would fit right in! The closer your relationship with God, the better you will hear His voice. The better you hear His voice, the better you will choose for yourself and others. I hope that helps!