Developing Spiritual Boundaries
Webster defines boundary as a line or strip that marks or shows a limit or end. We all have spiritual, physical, mental and emotional boundaries that impact our lives. They often reflect our ability to take or not take responsibility. It is important to realize we all have our limitations. When our boundaries are unclear and undefined we will experience disharmony in our lives. This disharmony hinders our overall well-being. God has created us to have an intimate personal relationship with HIM. It is only in Him and through Him that we can truly experience peace and contentment in life. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. This scripture is essential in formulating healthy spiritual boundaries.
We must learn to develop healthy spiritual boundaries. These boundaries are in the Bible. God has a plan for the lives of each of His children. Once we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives the doorway to contentment is accessible. Why? Jesus is the ONLY door to God. It is utterly impossible to attain true contentment and peace any other way. We will often experience discontentment in life when we haven’t developed an intimate relationship with Him. Without a relationship we become enslaved to the law of sin and death. It is only through Christ we can truly become free from the strongholds of sin.
We develop healthy boundaries once we begin to take responsibility for our actions. Imagine with me a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece of that puzzle is crucial for it’s overall completion. One part of the puzzle cannot or should not take the place of another. How does this relate? When we take responsibility for our actions (or our part) it pleases God. Our piece begins to discover it’s correct position in the puzzle of life; or should I say the body of Christ.
Our first step begins by being patient with ourselves. Remember it takes time to relinquish the bad habits, out of control behavior and self-destructive patterns that we have allowed to develop. But we must not use any of our weaknesses or bad habits as an excuse to continue in sin. Our out of control behavior patterns are often mere disguises for unmet needs. Embracing the truth and setting limits are part of the spiritual boundary process. We really do reap what we sow. The law of reaping and sowing are emphatically true. We need to experience the impact of our choices. Why? These experiences can motivate us to change our destructive patterns. Too often we cry for something or someone to rescue us from being painfully impacted by the decisions we make. They become our rescuers. People are often well meaning in their motives but rescuing someone is not love.
God’s love allows people to experience the impact of their decisions, even if they are wrong. Take the children of Israel for example; they were disobedient. Due to their disobedience the majority of them were unable to enter the promised land. They wandered forty years in the wilderness. God allowed them to be impacted by their decision. That point in time depicts a great example. It allows us today the opportunity to see the consequence of disobedience. A sign of spiritual boundaries is learning to take responsibility for ourselves and having responsibility to others. This may mean at times we must confront inappropriate behavior. For example: it can break your heart to say no to someone who has a need. We should ask ourselves are we really helping, our are we fulfilling a need in ourselves that likes to help others. Sometimes our helping is not helping at all. When a person has no sense of boundaries their expectation level is often unrealistic. They will not accept no from you. They can also become quite demanding. Their demand on you can sometimes become endless. They may even try to manipulate you emotionally. In order to help someone you first must personally have good spiritual boundaries. Know when to back off and when to direct them to someone who is better suited to assist them. Sometimes just telling them lovingly but honestly “I just don’t know how to handle the situation” is enough. We all have limitations. Always pray for them and continue to lift them before the Lord in prayer. remember people will sometimes misunderstand but God knows the motivation of your heart.
God has given us His word that has a plethora of examples. Many times we could avoid some of the heartaches we experience just by applying the principles of His word. Studying His word and digesting it’s principles will allow us to continue to experience peace within regardless of the situation. The Bible is full of situations that seem impossible. Yet time and time again God displays His limitless omnipotent abilities. God is faithful and able to deliver to us in any situation when necessary.
God our creator has told us, “Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feted them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you; That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, oh ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What withal shall we be clothed.