Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
If you feel unkind unless you agree to help when asked, consider the following.
Boundaries are what we stop ourselves from accepting in our lives, not what we stop another person from doing. We have no control over people’s choices or external events. How we choose to react is our responsibility.
1. Are boundaries a godly choice? Jesus set this example. When the Savior of the world preached and healed the crying masses, he did not stay and fix everyone’s problems. He was teaching us that it is not only necessary to say no sometimes, it is godly to love fully with boundaries in place.
2. It is easier to say yes when I mean no. How can boundaries help? Boundaries are godly because they keep us honest. Have you agreed, with a smile, to volunteer in the church while inwardly groaning, “Noooooooooo”? Of course Christians who are serious about their faith want to show love. However, Romans 12:9 says, “Love must be sincere…”
Sometimes, secret preferences are expressed through indirect means like passive/aggressive behavior, manipulation, complaining, or anger. For these reasons, expressing honest boundaries is kind.
If time, skill, or energy are lacking, we do not have to pretend we are available. Ephesians 4:25-30 tells us “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.“
3. Isn’t it best to patiently wait for a person to change? Boundaries are godly because they prevent us from enabling sin. God held to boundaries with ancient Israel. He set out laws, and warned against breaking them. Those who insisted on rebellion sometimes received further warning. Finally, he removed his blessings until they repented. This was love. He knew his way was best for all concerned.
This principle guides us in toxic situations and relationships in which we end up making excuses for the one who wrongs us. We continue to move our boundaries to accommodate them, and eventually lose our peace of mind (or safety).
Arrows shot in our direction are not ours to catch! Proverbs 22:3 says “ A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge…“
Today’s Helpful Word
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages— so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.