A property line around our yard, a fence around our house, a door on a room, etc. are all physical boundaries. They often keep us safe and settle disputes, as well as protect us from intruders and from losing our self in the midst of their problems.
Emotional boundaries are very important for the well-being of our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings (Proverbs 4:23). We put distance between us and people who wound us, or we sever ties all together to protect our self from further abuse.
Every human needs to feel protected and unconditionally loved. As we grow in our self-awareness, we begin to realize our need for boundaries. We conserve energy, which we used to consume resisting perpetrators, and have more ability and resources to give to those who truly need what God gives to us.
We use the compassion and empathy we learned from our abuse to minister to those God sends our way. The thorns in our flesh no long consume our time or energy, because of boundaries. We focus on God’s will for each moment of our life.
We have grace with our own personal insecurities, blind spots and fears and allow our self to receive God’s unconditional love for us. We set limits on our care-giving to others in order to have enough personal resources to care for our own soul.
Saying “No” and speaking the truth in love prevents us from enabling and getting enmeshed by rescuing others who get into trouble due to their disobedience to God, their irresponsible behavior and their own lack of boundaries.
This prevents us from emotional and physical depletion and burning out, and helps us to be more effectual and appropriate in helping others with legitimate needs. We only rescue those for whom God provides us with a lifeline.
Father God, remind us that You already rescued every person in the world through Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We have no responsibility to rescue people, because they need to turn to Christ in their hour of need, not to us. Help us not to enable selfish and irresponsible people, but only to help as Your Spirit leads us. Enable us to resist taking the weight of the problems of the world on our shoulders and to leave it on Yours, where it belongs.
Cleanse our heart from anger, resentment, an overload of stress and burnout which we acquire from our lack of boundaries and our penchant for attempting to help where You are not calling us to give aid. Do not allow us to be manipulated by the negative emotions others use to control us. Allow us instead to abound in Your grace and to pray for the needs in the lives of others as they learn to trust You as their Savior instead of us.
Thought for the Day:
Jesus made His need for physical rest and the restoration of His soul as a priority in His life by following the leading of God’s Spirit with His life. – Luke 5:16