Barbara Bryant on Setting Boundaries

Barbara Bryant
Barbara Bryant

If you’ve never been one who set boundaries in place, I can guarantee that, if you suddenly break out a new, never-been-used marker and draw a line in the sand, people are going to be upset, wondering what it’s all about. After all, it’s a first. 

It can be hard to set boundaries with others. We all want to be liked and to be seen as open and friendly.  But there comes a time when we must close the door to certain things, including people and places.

The purpose of a boundary is to distinguish territorial lines that define limits. Boundaries are limits we set regarding how we allow others to treat us or to behave around us.  Boundary setting is about us deciding what we will and will not tolerate in our lives.

Setting a boundary is the process of getting to know ourselves and discovering what’s acceptable to us. When we’re clear about our boundaries, we know what behaviors we will accept or not accept from others (and ourselves), as well as what is or is not appropriate for us.

The concept of boundaries originated in the very nature of God. God defines Himself as a distinct, separate being, and He is responsible for Himself. He defines and takes responsibility for His personality by telling us what He thinks, feels, plans, allows, and will not allow, as well as detailing His likes and dislikes. He also defines Himself as separate from His creation and from us. He also differentiates Himself from others. He tells us who He is and who He is not. For example, He says that He is love and that He is not darkness. (1 John 4:16.)

As Christians, we should also have spiritual boundaries. Spiritual boundaries are deliberately chosen positions of faith that agree with what God says in His Word. Spiritual boundaries tell the world what we will or will not accept as a child of God. The Lord Himself gave us important guidance regarding the use of healthy spiritual boundaries: “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything less comes from the evil one.” (See Matthew 5:37) In that statement, Jesus is saying that our spiritual boundaries must be clear.

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Source: LA Sentinel

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