To many of us, “healthy boundaries” is an oxymoron, because what comes to mind is isolation. Also if you come from a background like mines, where saying yes = nice person; and saying no = mean person; then the concept of actively developing healthy boundaries is unheard of. But from a Biblical perspective, having healthy boundaries is about wisdom, true compassion, and freedom.
Having healthy boundaries brings freedom to develop in your God-given identity; and freedom to allow others to do the same. Sometimes we can find ourselves trying to please everyone so much; that we lose sight of our own identity and worth. Also when we’re constantly trying to put out everyone’s fires; it becomes a serious drain and distraction from our God-given purpose; and prevents other people from developing in wholeness for themselves. True compassion doesn’t just help; but it also allows others to grow in learning to help themselves… even if it hurts sometimes along the way.
Too, Biblical wisdom requires that we establish healthy boundaries. Sometimes there are everyday abuses that we take for granted. Not the type of abuses that are extreme or obvious; but the ones that seep in slowly, and are camouflaged in everyday situations. For example, allowing yourself to become burned out on a regular basis is an abuse. Allowing yourself to be consistently manipulated by people and circumstances is an abuse. It’s easy for many of us to understand that God doesn’t want us to abuse ourselves. However, it may be harder to see that equally, God doesn’t want us to let other people abuse us either — even if it’s for a good cause. When that happens, one of the first steps in finding our way to where we should be, is in this simple truth: it’s okay to say yes; and its okay to say no.
Please understand that I’m not talking about selfishness or self-centeredness. But, I am talking about healthy self-interest. The only way that we can continue to move forward in wholeness, positively impacting our lives and the world around us; is by making balanced decisions that facilitate our well-being. Part of that includes setting personal boundaries through wisdom, in establishing what’s good for our lives and what isn’t.
The Bible says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This isn’t talking about the devil popping out of closets. It’s speaking to the fact that our weaknesses and other people’s can be used as damaging agents against our well-being. Love people in spite their weaknesses, because we all have issues to work through. Just don’t stick your head in the sand, by swinging the door wide open for their weakness — or yours — to wreak perpetual drama and nonsense in your life. Otherwise, you create a lifestyle of not feeling right, unless something is wrong. Be honest about what is or isn’t; and stay open to God’s direction. One way to honor Him, is by honoring ourselves; which includes establishing healthy boundaries and being sensitive to other people’s.
Much Peace and Many Blessings :-)
Photos and listings of Churches and Chapels in the New Orleans area
Louisiana Church Directory
Louisiana Synagogue Directory