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Beautiful Boundaries

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Yes, we are to show grace, love and forgiveness to our friends – and our enemies – but we are also to clearly set some boundaries as well.

Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you? (Proverbs 22:24-27 ESV)

I vividly recall walking into my office in 2004 and seeing a friend engrossed in a book about setting healthy boundaries. She looked up and handed me the book, telling me she would buy herself a new copy. It would appear I needed this book!

While I didn’t agree with everything found inside the cover, it absolutely illuminated some problems in my life. The one common denominator was . . . me.

Having been raised in a Christian home and then discipled alongside newly converted hippies, I had been given the gift of forgiveness and servant hood as a default. I took the verse, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13) to heart . . . and to the extreme.

Yes, we are to show grace, love and forgiveness to our friends – and our enemies – but we are also to clearly set some boundaries as well. Proverbs is full of wisdom on when to distance ourselves from certain people or to protect our loved ones and ourselves from those who would intentionally bring us to physical, financial or emotional ruin.

God wants us to be His hands and feet on this earth, but He also said to dust off our sandals sometimes too. He himself would take time away from the needs of others to be alone or just with his trusted friends.

Boundaries are not about controlling others, but rather controlling what hits your life or your family. Saying ‘no’ may be foreign to you but trust me, it shouldn’t be. We have the choice, ladies to walk away or take a break . . . because here’s a real shocker . . . it’s not unchristian to say, ‘no’.

Lord, I pray for discernment today as I live to serve others and wisdom in setting safe boundaries as well.

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