Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
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Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.

No Higher Honor

Have you ever met a “control freak”? They attempt to subjugate the people and events around them. Some of them desire to wield power. Others are insecure and endeavor to control their environment to ensure their safety. A third type of control freak was oppressed as a child; and, as an adult, vowed never to allow that to happen again.

The greatest problem with control freaks is that they are rebellious to God’s authority in their life. They do not seek His will, but they make their own plans and move mountains to attain them. Some of them manipulate, demand, steal and finagle to get their own way. Their motivation is to preserve their concept of their own self-worth, because their value comes from their achievements (Colossians 2:8).

Control freaks actually believe that God let them down; therefore, they must make their own way in life. Satan reinforces this confusion by using commercials, billboards, social media, office politics, family expectations and a host of other worldly standards to force the unwitting to base their value on earthly concepts.

The problem is that even the richest, most powerful, successful and beautiful people in the world never really believe they have attained the pinnacle of acceptance they so crave. The devil convinces them that they are actually unlovable and unacceptable in order to keep them on the rungs of that illusive ladder of success.

They even perceive rejection from others when it is not there. A muddle of inferiority, hopelessness, insignificance and self-criticism overwhelms them. It is only in the very center of God’s will that we find our true joy and contentment (Philippians 4:11-13). He redeemed us from our sinful lifestyle and adopted us into His very own family (1 John 3:1). There is no honor in life higher than this.

Father God, thank You for creating us with Your purpose in mind (Psalm 139:13; Ephesians 2:10). You gave each of us gifts and talents, which we need in order to accomplish Your will for our life (Romans 12:6). There is no need for us to strive to achieve success that is out of Your will for us. Even when we accomplish our goals, they will ring empty and hollow. Thank You for adopting us as Your children. Help us to find our worth only in our relationship with You.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Biblical principles are our standard and give us wisdom for living; apart from Him we are nothing. – John 15:5

The Greatest Gift of All

When we judge our self according to the scale, which the world uses to measure popularity and success, we may come up lacking. Life seems unfair, because other people have greater advantages than we do when we consider the temporal blessing they may receive. Yet, no matter how many possession we acquire, they never satisfy us.

Spiritually, the children of God have the richest of all blessings. We have Christ in us, who is both our hope and our greatest gift (Colossians 1:27). God is the hope of all people, from the ends of the earth and to the farthest seas (Psalm 65:6). He gives us more than this world could ever offer us (Psalm77:11-15). He gives us Himself (Psalm 89:1-2, 5-8).

We may fear giving up control of our life to God, because He may require things from us, which would further tarnish our earthly popularity and reputation. However, if we actually gain our personal identity and status for success from Christ in us, rather from our personal talents and achievements, we realize that our real worth is based on the love of Christ (John 3:16-17; Romans 8:35-39).

God’s greatest gift to us is His sacrifice of His own Son (Revelation 13:8). Jesus paid the price of our redemption and freed us from a worthless life of sin, giving us His free gift of salvation (Romans 6:23; Psalm 2:4). Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High God will rest in Him. He is our refuge and our strength in whom we can always trust (Psalm 91:1-2).

Father God, because we love You, You will deliver us. You protect us as we acknowledge You. You answer us when we call on You. You deliver us from trouble and honor us. You satisfy us with a long life of salvation (Psalm 91:14-16). We give You thanks for Your loving kindness, which endures forever. Your unfailing love produces wonderful blessings for us. You satisfy our thirsty soul and You fill our hungry soul with many good things (Psalm 107:1, 8-9).

Thought for the Day:
God gives us the greatest gifts of all; never forget His benefits and bless His holy name. – Psalm 103:1